What Every Author Dreams Of Hearing
I have finished reading the January/February issue of The Horn Book, a major accomplishment since it's only mid-February and not, say, April. Among the stand-out articles for me was one by Nell Beram called Mickey's House. Evidently, Disney Press has an imprint called VOLO (I couldn't find much about this on-line), which publishes book tie-ins for some of its shows on the Disney channel, like Lizzie McGuire and That's So Raven. Berams says that the texts are all adaptations of televised episodes.
Let me pause here to say I've never understood television tie-ins of this nature. I can barely see the point of "all new adventure" type tie-ins.
But let me continue. Beram says of these books, "...at the risk of disappointing those of you who hoped I would annihilate these titles, I must report that, flawed as they are (and certainly not as good as the shows they're based on--and that's not damnation with faint praise), they aren't that bad. While not especially well written, they're not horribly written either. I've read countless non-TV-tie-in books that are far worse: sappy, precious, humorles, windy, flaccid, inert--crimes of which none of these VOLO titles can be said to be guilty."
Yup. Definitely some quotable stuff there to use on the next Lizzie McGuire cover.
On A More Positive Note
Patty Campbell had an article on the popularity of YA fiction in the same issue of The Horn Book. She had many, many interesting things to say in Drowning in Success. So many, in fact, that I started to make a list but was afraid to give away too much of another author's work. I'll just report this: YA sales are supposed to be up twenty-three percent since 1999 while adult sales are down a little more than one percent in the same period.
Go read the article yourself. Patty Campbell's articles for The Horn Book are always worth reading.