Pictured above: the displays I did in our teen area for women’s history month. Rather than stick to historical novels about females, I thought it’d be more fun to do a display of books featuring great girl characters. When I went back the day after I took this picture, I saw it had been nicely picked at, which makes me so happy.
I promised that I’d do a roundup of links other people had written that fit into the “About the Girls” series, and I’m going to put those in this biweekly roundup. If I missed something, leave a comment and let me know. This is going to be long, so prepare a couple cups of coffee or tea and settle in. First, the general links of note:
- There has been some interesting stuff coming out of the UK in relation to gender and marketing, particularly where it comes to books. The Guardian talks about how parents have been pushing back against gendered book marketing, and The Independent decided they will no longer review titles marketed exclusively to one gender. This reminds me of when Jackie pointed out the sexism and gendered approach Scholastic took in one of their series and how Scholastic responded.
- This is a really thought-provoking post about how Divergent and The Hunger Games avoid real issues of racial and gender violence.
- Anna has been working on the Everyday Diversity project for a while, which aims to promote diversity in kidlit, particularly in the library. Here’s what it is, and here’s how (and why) you can get involved.
- So, the sexual abuse scandal rocking the vlog world? I don’t know enough about it to write about it with any sense of authority, but I have read a few things touching on aspects of what’s going on that have been thought provoking. First, Carrie Mesrobian touches on why the video Hank Green made about consent is problematic and then Liz Burns talked about power, policies, and ages in regards to this situation and in libraries more broadly. And actually, I lied: I did write a little bit about this on tumblr, mostly giving some more thoughts on what Carrie and Liz had to say.
- Jeanne wrote a really thought-provoking post about the DFTBA scandal, too. Read this post, read the updated post she links to, and definitely read the comments.
- Foz Meadows wrote a killer post in response to a New York Times piece about dystopias and YA authors that ran a few weeks back. What’s in here about gender is especially fantastic.
- Curious about raw numbers when it comes to bestselling books? Here’s PW’s facts and figures for the bestselling 2013 books (which raises a lot of questions in my mind regarding the New York Times Bestsellers list now — why wasn’t Rick Yancey on there longer? Why wasn’t Sarah Dessen on there longer?).
- I know I’ve shared this before but I’m sharing again because I love this series. Sarah Thompson’s still running her fantastic “So you want to read middle grade?” If you’re like me and know nothing about middle grade or if you’re a huge fan, this series of guest posts are excellent.
- Speaking of book recommendations, Courtney Summers is doing this new series on her tumblr where her headcrab makes YA recommendations (“What’s a headcrab?” is a question answered there, too). She’s also giving away a copy of What Goes Around and an advanced copy of Amanda Maciel’s Tease, which looks really good. Three books with three tough-to-read-but-all-too-real teen girls.
- Jennifer Rummel wrote a really excellent post for The Hub this week that traces British women’s history through YA fiction. Check it out.
- Diversity in YA has a book list to 10 diverse YA historicals about girls.
- I really liked this post and perspective: The Fault in the New York Times Bestsellers List.
- I often forget what a wonderful resource Pinterest can be for readers. One of the best Pinterest accounts out there, Lee & Low’s, is one you have to have on your radar if you’re looking for diversity in your collections, in your reading, or in your reader’s advisory. This is a goldmine.
- Matthew Jackson, who has written for us a few times, has an excellent column up at Blastr talking about 21 YA novels that pack a genre punch. This is especially for those readers — adults — who are skeptical about how well-written YA fiction can be.
So I’d made a call for people to feel free and write about girls in YA any time during our series and I’d round them up. I am going to miss some posts, so please, alert me to others if I have. And if you’re still so compelled to write on this topic, do let me know when you post, too, and I’ll try to include it in a future link round up.
- Karen over at Teen Librarian Toolbox wrote about the problem of relationships and girls in YA fiction and talks about five of her favorite titles featuring girls.
- Liz Burns on female friendship in YA fiction, including three books she loved about girl friendships and she asks for input on more (with suggestions in the comments).
- Ellen Oh talks about the ongoing problem of sexism.
- Over on her tumblr, Sarah Rees Brennan answers a reader question about female friendships and dives deep into unpacking what friendship portrayals in YA look like and more.
- I had a teacher in touch with me about how she used two of last week’s posts about unlikable female characters to spark a discussion in her classroom as it related to the book they were currently reading. She was even kind enough to share with me the classroom verbatim, and this discussion — with teenagers — is so fascinating and exciting and I hope it elicits other similar conversations with teen readers.
- Cait Spivey wrote this excellent post that asks and expands upon a simple question: “You know YA is about teenagers, right?“
- Brandy, at Musings of a Bibliophile, talks about the unlikable female characters she loves.
- Jenny Arch tackles characters, gender, and the age-old likability question.
- This post by Adrienne Russell is fantastic: I’m not here to make friends. Those last couple of paragraphs in particular are outstanding.
Sarah Andersen is working on something with her students and their reaction/interaction with gender and reading and I cannot wait until she shares more about it. That feels like such a tease of a sentence, but she’s been polling her female students about their reading lives and experiences and influences to see what, how, and where gender and what they’ve been taught may impact them. This should be fascinating.
My posts elsewhere:
- I was out of town when last week’s Book Fetish ran on Book Riot, but here it is. There’s something here for your Harry Potter fans and your fans of making cookies.
- I rounded up the things I wrote in relation to being on the Printz ballot, including a new guest post at Abby the Librarian about more favorite Printz honor titles, over on my Tumblr.