I think what I like most about Roger Sutton's Blog, Read Roger, is that he says exactly what he wants to say. Whether I agree or disagree, I respect his honesty and bluntness. It's the type of bluntness, at times, that makes me wonder, does he mean that? Or is he trying to get a discussion going?
(For the record, I'd prefer he mean it than to he is trying to stir the pot. Cause discussions work so much better when they are real rather than manipulation.)
I'm highlighting his post today because it amuses me, because it mentions the wonderful Gail Gauthier (and if her blog isn't on your daily to-read list, it should be) and because it's about YA literature and YA librarians. Full post here.
Over on her blog Original Content, Gail Gauthier has been wondering why Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys was named a Best Book for Young Adults by ALA. In this era of the burgeoning ranks of YA fiction, it's easy to forget that the main mission of YA librarians used to be to bring teen readers into the world of adult books. Obviously, when pioneers such as Margaret Edwards were working, YA fiction was far more limited in both range and numbers, so librarians had no choice but to bring young readers out of the box. But now I worry (and Horn Book YA columnist Patty Campbell and I have been arguing this one for years) that the surfeit of YA lit--if you believe there is one, and I do--keeps librarians from moving kids along. And when I hear that we should be thinking of YA as including people into their twenties I get apoplectic. Push 'em out of the nest, already.Ah, this brings out the lawyer in me! Is the definition of the mission of a librarian (and a YA librarian) set in stone, never to be altered? Are the only worthwhile books adult books, with all else merely stepping stones? How high up in age should/does "YA" go? Is their a surfeit of YA literature?
Discuss amongst yourselves. I'm fighting a cold so will just sit back and read.