Monday, March 31, 2014

I've Been Reading The Horn Book

Okay, I'm talking about the January/February issue and not the current one. But if you haven't read it, you're going to have trouble finding it now. Not to worry. I will share favorite bits and and a few thoughts.

The Articles

What's New About New Adult?, which you can read. I would probably have at least taken a look at this particular piece even if blogging colleague Liz Burns wasn't one of the authors. (Along with Sophie Brookover and Kelly Jensen.) A concise description of NA from their article: "New Adult — aimed at an adult audience but with strong appeal for teen readers — has recently garnered much buzz. Story lines tend to follow the contours of contemporary genre romance novels, but starring younger characters." They also say that NA has "more drama and explicit sexuality than even the most daring YA."

I heard muttering about some kind of new category of book for older than YA readers for years before New Adult turned up on the scene. I was expecting it to be rooted in college-age and twenty-something experience of starting jobs and being out in the world, though, and not limited to romance and sexuality, which is all I'm hearing now. I was thinking things like Lonely Werewolf Girl. Yeah, I got that wrong.

Owl Moon Redux by Jane Yolen. I am not a poetry person, but I found this article on different ways Yolen could have gone with the text of her book Owl Moon fascinating.

What Makes a Good Horse Book? by Anita L. Burkam, which is also on-line. Guess what? I was a horsey girl. Billy and Blaze. The Black Stallion. Gaudenzia, Pride of the Palio, which I remembered as Queen of the Palio. Another article I just had to dip into. And what did I find? Maxine Kumin wrote a horse book for kids!

The Reviews

A lot of Horn Book reviews deal with  apocalyptic, paranormal, and fantasy titles or some variation of same. As a general rule, there are also a lot of dead parent or dead somebody stories. This probably reflects what's being published rather than any kind of direction from the magazine. There's a limit to how much the-future-is-a-dreadful place and dead Dad reading I can do.

Some other types of titles that caught my eye:

Year of the Jungle, Suzanne Collins' picture book about her father's tour in Vietnam.

Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt. A graphic novel with a character who is into Jane Eyre.

The Day My Father Became a Bush by Joke van Leeuwen. This book actually sounds a little over my head, but I was grabbed by this line--"...then she meets a captain who's AWOL because he's unable to use the imperative mood." He couldn't give orders?

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. Eccentric art genius.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by NESCBWI colleague Melissa Stewart

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