Back in November, New York Public Library announced the sale of the Donnell Library Branch to a hotel. The hotel will be built; the library will be closed during the building, and upon completion, the library will have a few floors and a separate entrance.
The Donnell Branch isn't just any branch; it's the home of Pooh, it's the home of the Central Children's Room Collection. It's an awesome collection; both a historical non-circulating collection, but also a real, live, used and loved collection.
And I understand the money reasons that NYPL is selling prime real estate. But so far, there's been no public word about what is going to happen to the Central Children's Room and its collection. At the time of the initial reports, NYPL said only that there would be resources at the "new" library (which will be the same location, just under a hotel) for children and teens.
Well.... "resources" being available isn't quite the same thing as the existing Children's Room and Teen Central, is it? You don't have to be a former lawyer to see how the word "resources" could mean the current excellent resources... or one computer, and the ability to interlibrary loan titles from other libraries.
I set a Google Alert to try to make sure I didn't miss any updates on the situation, but the only thing I've read is how other library positions are being sent out of Manhattan.
Manhattan is expensive; but has it gotten so expensive that it cannot have the resources needed for city kids and teens, their parents, teachers, and caregivers?
I don't have a Magic 8 ball that tells the future. If I did, I'd be on a round the world trip thanks to the money I won knowing winning lottery numbers. But I'm suspicious by nature. And I wonder... will the historical stuff be sent to some research library? And the rest of the books broken up amongst other locations, so that there is no one central location of titles? I can imagine someone thinking, huh, if the book exists at one location in NYPL, that's enough. And as long as it exists at one branch, why a Central Children's Room?
Having worked in a system with multiple branches, I can tell you that the way branches look at their collections is different from how a system does. It's the nature of the beast; not good, not bad, just the way it is. But to balance that local outlook, you need a main, central collection. When I worked at the main branch of my former workplace, my view towards collection development and weeding was much different from when I was at a branch.
Does anyone have any news on what's happening with the Donnell Library and the Children's and Teens areas?
And on a personal note: my mother grew up on the Upper West Side. She adores the New York Public Library and the memories of using its branches. So even tho I'm from NJ, I feel an emotional connection to Manhattan and the library.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Back in November, New York Public Library announced the sale of the Donnell Library Branch to a hotel. The hotel will be built; the library will be closed during the building, and upon completion, the library will have a few floors and a separate entrance.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I know the Random House book most people are clamoring for right now is Christopher Paolini's Brisingr, but I'm not one of the clamoring. Mostly because I don't read fantasy. What I do read, however, is chick lit. Lots and lots of chick lit. Growing up in the mid-'90s, the premier chick lit franchise was the delightfully cheesy Sweet Valley High series. There's a certain camaraderie among Sweet Valley fans. We like to reminisce about the endless descriptions of out-there clothes, pick our favorite twin (I'm definitely an Elizabeth), and if Zazzle or CafePress had been around back then I'm sure we'd have a spate of t-shirts that proclaimed TEAM JEFFREY or TEAM TODD.
And now, those t-shirts can be ours.
Starting in April, Random House is reissuing the Sweet Valley High series. Everyone's favorite blonde, five-foot-six, lavaliere-wearing identical twins are back in all their identical-but-couldn't-be-more-different glory. Random, bless them, gave out galleys at ALA Midwinter, so I picked one up and read it.
What you may consider spoilers will follow. If you're spoiler-sensitive, now may be a good time to click your back button.
At their cores, the SVH books are still the same. They're still about life in sunny, middle-class Southern California. Jessica and Elizabeth's personalities are still the same. Jessica still schemes and ruins Elizabeth's clothes, and Elizabeth still prefers spending time with a few close friends over going to parties. Some details from the original series are changed. The twins no longer drive a Fiat Spider or hang out at the Dairi Burger. Elizabeth has an anonymous blog instead of an anonymous print gossip column. That's the bad news. The good news is that the plot still holds up, more or less.
The greatest thing about the SVH series is that the plots are timeless. Regardless of decade, teens still deal with issues of sibling rivalry, romance, feuding families, annoying but loving older brothers, and gossip. Those themes that drive the SVH series are still relevant today, which is why I think there's a good chance this repackaged series will find a new generation of readers. The other nice thing about the series is that there's no overt sex (at least, not in the first book), so this could be a nice recommendation for those who like "clean" romances or those who want a step up from The Clique but one down from Gossip Girl. Jessica and Elizabeth certainly like boys, but they're not hopping into bed with them. Even though Jessica likes a little danger in her life, she's not stupid enough to stay with the guy who endangers his life (and hers).
And years after I read the first books, I still want Lila Fowler's wardrobe.
crossposted at carlie@bccls
Monday, January 28, 2008
It's Nonfiction Monday, with a round up at Picture Book of the Day.
Basically: on Monday, blog about nonfiction, let the person who is doing the roundup know.
I think it's a great idea; I love nonfiction. But, sadly, I don't have a post to add to the roundup today. Next week, hopefully!
Posted by Liz B at 8:49 PM
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The full name of the award: "The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature"
Why? "The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association." More information about Mike Printz is at the YALSA site.
This Year's Winners.
Previous Winners: Complete list at YALSA.
Liz's Comments: I won't always do comments, but here, let me just point out it's well worth it to look at the past winners and honor books. It's quite a mix of books. It's also fascinating to think just how young this award is.
Also, when speaking of YA books, I need to plug the DVD Extra, "How to Deal With YA Literature," that appears in the DVD of How to Deal. Dude, it talks about Sue Barton! Seriously, it is a nice and quick look at the evolution of YA literature, decade by decade. A lot of great teens and authors and YA lit people discuss YA books. It is a "must view," if not "must own."
Source: The YALSA website.
Friday, January 25, 2008
So, why do I care that an actor who I never met died?
The same reason any death affects me. Oh, on one level, I think of the films I loved and the loss of a talent and the films that won't be made. On one level, it is the loss of a young man I never met, except thru film and photos. I don't know his family, his child, his ex-fiance.
But on another level, it's a reminder of other, more personal deaths; and the hurt and loss from those deaths, and the grief. And I feel terribly for the loss of this person I knew, but didn't, and for the heartache of his loved ones, who I don't know, but I know grief.
I always thought Edna St. Vincent Millay does loss well. From the website Poetry Out Loud.
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
The rest of the poem is here.
Poetry Friday round up at Mentor Texts.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Originally posted at my blog on January 22nd, 2008.
Scroll down on this page to the link to "Edwards Award goes to controversial anti-gay author" at http://ypulse.com/archives/2008/01/ypulse_book_ess.php. YPulse's comment is: Ug. How did this happen? This feels like a mistake that no one will admit to.
You know what? If I were on this year's Edwards committee, I'd fully admit to that "mistake." Only it's not a mistake. Normally I like what YPulse has to say about books and reading, but in discussing the Edwards Award they completely missed the mark.
Kimberly Paone and Roger Sutton are absolutely right in their statements to School Library Journal. The politically correct answer is that it's icky that Orson Scott Card got what is more or less the YALSA Lifetime Achievement Award for a book, but political correctness does not and should not have any bearing on the Edwards Award. If we hold Orson Scott Card to a certain standard then we must hold ALL the recipients to that standard, and that would be ridiculous because the scope of the award is not based on an author's life or personal thoughts. It's based on his or her art and contribution to the YA genre. There's a possibility that in 10 years, David Levithan will be given the Edwards for Boy Meets Boy, and couldn't the same argument be made then, that his writing about positive, fun GLBT characters is somehow wrong and corrupting of teenagers? I may not feel that way personally, but I guarantee that many people do today and will ten years from now. If Card should be chastised and denied an award for speaking his mind on GLBT people, then couldn't Levithan be chastised and denied that same award for doing the same, only in the opposite direction?
In many aspects of life librarians have to separate the personal from the professional. There's one author whose books I don't like at all and usually don't recommend, but I think the author is a great person. I hated more than one book I voted for at Popular Paperbacks this year because I knew that despite my dislike of them, they fit the charge of the committee perfectly. I review for Kirkus and VOYA and my separation of personal and professional is tested on a near-daily basis when writing for those publications. Giving awards and positive reviews to books and authors is almost never a black-and-white issue.
Try again, YPulse. It's not all about you.
Monday, January 21, 2008
New favorite show alert: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
A TV show based on the Terminator movie franchise. So far, it's at episode three, but I think it would be easy to catch up.
In a nutshell: the pilot was set about two years after the second movie. A bad terminator shows up, a good terminator saves them and Sarah, John, and the new terminator (Summer Glau of Firefly) jump forward to 2007. Good terminator explains that movie two just changed details of Judgment Day but didn't stop it (as we saw in movie three.)
Did you like the movies? Then you'll like this show. I enjoyed the acting, the plotting, and the adventure. I especially liked how it tries to maintain continuity with the three films (tho figuring out the John Connor timeline can be a wee bit headache inducing.) Check out the official website, which has past episodes.
Didn't watch the movies? Arg. How to explain. It's the end of the world as we know it...in a couple of years. In man v machine, machines win, and John Connor leads the resistance to defeat the machines. The machines then keep sending terminator cyborg machines back in time to kill John Connor; in movie one, they tried to kill his mother before John was born, but then John sent someone back in time to save his mom, and in turns out the person he sends back ends up being his dad.
In movie 2, a new bad terminator is sent back in time to kill a young John (he's about 12), and a reprogrammed terminator is also sent back to save John, and John and his mom end up deciding to stop the machine takeover before it happens by blowing up the company responsible for creating the machines. In movie 3, a grown up John is caught again between a good and a bad terminator, and finds out he only delayed Judgment Day.
And now the tv series, set between movies 2 and 3, but because of the time jump, it's basically a new timeline that has nothing to do with the movie franchise.
Does this not make sense to you? Then this isn't a show for you.
But if it does make sense... well, duh, how could you have not already watched the films? Please.
Edited to add:
A look at the various Terminator timelines. Yeah, it's confusing.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Here is the list of the various awards announced at ALA Midwinter. If I read it, it's highlighted. If I read it and there's a TeaCozy posted, I have the link.
John Newbery Medal:
“Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village,” written by Laura Amy Schlitz
Newbery Honor Books:
“Elijah of Buxton,” by Christopher Paul Curtis
“The Wednesday Wars,” by Gary D. Schmidt
“Feathers,” by Jacqueline Woodson
Randolph Caldecott Medal
“The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” illustrated by Brian Selznick
Caldecott Honor Books:
“Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Ellen Levine;
“First the Egg,” illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
“The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain,” illustrated and written by Peter Sís
“Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity,” illustrated and written by Mo Willems
Michael L. Printz Award
“The White Darkness,” by Geraldine McCaughrean
Printz Honor Books
“Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet,” by Elizabeth Knox
“One Whole and Perfect Day,” by Judith Clarke
“Repossessed,” by A. M. Jenkins
“Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath,” by Stephanie Hemphill
Coretta Scott King Book Award
“Elijah of Buxton,” written by Christopher Paul Curtis
Author Honor Books:
“November Blues,” by Sharon M. Draper
“Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali,” written by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier
King Illustrator Book
“Let it Shine,” illustrated and written by Ashley Bryan
King Illustrator Honor Books
“The Secret Olivia Told Me,” by N. Joy, illustrated by Nancy Devard
“Jazz On A Saturday Night,” by Leo and Diane Dillon
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award; “Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It,” written by Sundee T. Frazier
Schneider Family Book Award:
for young children: “Kami and the Yaks,” written by Andrea Stenn Stryer, illustrated by Bert Dodson
middle grades: “Reaching for Sun,” by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
teen: “Hurt Go Happy,” written by Ginny Rorby
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
“There Is a Bird on Your Head!,” written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Geisel Honor Books were named:
“First the Egg,” written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
“Hello, Bumblebee Bat,” written by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne
“Jazz Baby,” written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
“Vulture View,” written by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults: Orson Scott Card for his novels “Ender's Game” and “Ender's Shadow.”
The Pura Belpré Award
Illustrator: Yuyi Morales, illustrator of “Los Gatos Black on Halloween,” written by Marisa Montes
Author: Margarita Engle, author of “The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano,” illustrated by Sean Qualls
Two Honor Books for illustration:
“My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez/Me llamo gabito: La vida de Gabriel García Márquez,” illustrated by Raúl Colón, written by Monica Brown
“My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo,” written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Three Author Honor Books were named:
“Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life!” by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
“Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale,” retold by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin
“Los Gatos Black on Halloween,” written by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Robert F. Sibert Medal
“The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain,” written and illustrated by Peter Sís
Sibert Honor Books were named:
“Lightship,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca
“Nic Bishop Spiders,” written and illustrated by Nic Bishop
Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video
“Jump In! Freestyle Edition.”
Mildred L. Batchelder Award
“Brave Story.” Originally published in Japanese in 2003 as “Bureibu Sutori,” the book was written by Miyuki Miyabe and translated by Alexander O. Smith.
Two Batchelder Honor Books:
“The Cat: Or, How I Lost Eternity,” originally published in German as “Die Katze,”
“Nicholas and the Gang,” originally published in French as “Le petit Nicolas et les copains.”
Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is Live Oak Media for “Jazz.”
Five honor titles were named:
“Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy,” produced by Listen & Live Audio;
“Dooby Dooby Moo,” produced by Scholastic/Weston Woods;
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” produced by Listening Library;
“Skulduggery Pleasant,” produced by HarperChildren's Audio; and
“Treasure Island,” produced by Listening Library.
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences
“American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China,” by Matthew Polly
“Bad Monkeys,” by Matt Ruff
“Essex County Volume 1: Tales from the Farm,” by Jeff Lemire
“Genghis: Birth of an Empire,” by Conn Iggulden
“The God of Animals,” by Aryn Kyle
“A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” by Ishmael Beah,
“Mister Pip,” by Lloyd Jones
“The Name of the Wind,” by Patrick Rothfuss
"The Night Birds,” by Thomas Maltman
“The Spellman Files,” by Lisa Lutz,
May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture : Walter Dean Myers
The edits of the book are done!
For those of you not following the time-line of my insane life, the book I wrote with Sophie Brookover (called, like the blog, Pop Goes the Library) was due to the editor the first week of December.
I moved in December.
Christmas Eve, Sophie and I got the required edits back from our editor, and just when all the revisions (and a new chapter!) where finished, it was time for ALA. And so now I think I can breathe again, and it's Printz stuff.
I still haven't bought some much needed stuff for the new house, like a bed (I'm sleeping in my guest bedroom), a sofa, a desk for my computer (I'm using the laptop instead of the desktop), or a vacuum cleaner.
And now you're saying, hm, Liz, the title of this is the January Carnival of Children's Literature?
I'm just making excuses for why I haven't participated in a Carnival for a couple of months, or done a Poetry Friday in ages.
So go check out the January Carnival at Wizards Wireless; I'm not in it, but I look forward to visiting all my blog friends and seeing what's up.
So, I'm on this year's Printz committee. And yes, it will impact what I'm reviewing online.
I know that technically speaking, I could blog about eligible 08 books and my blogging would not reveal anything confidential; it would merely be about me saying what I do or don't like, and not be a reflection of anything to do with the committee.
I also know human nature and myself. I'd be second guessing what I wrote, and I like to just write my reactions to books and I don't want to censor my own posts. Also, I looked at this from the POV of authors, I think they'd be reading my posts for "clues" (she mentioned the book, that's good news! or is that bad? Or is not mentioning it good?) Hell, if I were an author of an eligible book I'd be doing that.
And so, in all honesty, it's just easier for me not to blog about Printz eligible titles.
Which is why Carlie and Theresa are helping out, with writing reviews and other stuff for Tea Cozy. And I have a few other people who also said they'd help out with reviews. Of course, they are not limited to 08 YA titles; they can blog about whatever they want. And however they want. So let's be clear: Carlie's and Theresa's reviews and posts reflect their opinions. Not their employers, not my opinions, not the Printz committee. They pick the books they want to blog (or don't want to blog, for that matter.)
Will I still be blogging? Try and stop me! I'm actually looking forward to clearing out the backlog of books I read in the past couple of years that I haven't had time to review. Plus, if something isn't eligible for the Printz (published before 08, for example, or not a YA book), I can review it. Of course, whether I'll have the time for nonPrintz reading is another story (hence my eyeing that backlog of reviews.)
So what can I say about the Printz? I began to wonder... and decided, hey, let's go thru the Policies and Procedures and other (public) information about the Printz. With the current buzz and reaction to this year's winners, I thought it would be kind of fun to read what the Printz is (and isn't.) Plus, hey, I am a former lawyer, so it means I do like to read the rules. And follow them.
And here's another thing: do not take anything I say on this blog as a reflection of anything other than my own opinion. Do not take any of the comments by other people to be anything other than their opinions. I'm going over the polices, etc., but I won't be adding any commentary; but I do look forward to any discussion about the Printz that may take place in the comments.
Final thing: if you want to nominate a title for the Printz, don't do it in this blog or by contacting me. Instead, go to this online form.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I didn't bring my camera to ALA,
But Fuse did! And here's the link to the photo of myself, along with Melissa Rabey (who blogs at Pop) and Carlie Webber (blogs at Pop and here, and is running for the Printz committee).
Sophie Brookover, founder of Pop Goes the Library and my coauthor for our upcoming book, also brought her camera. At least in this one, I have makeup and slightly better hair.
Carlie's is the only shirt where you can clearly see our Official ALA Midwinter T: Team Rowling. Interestingly enough, we did not encounter any "Team Pullman" so there was no rumble to the soundtrack of West Side Story.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What books am I looking forward to reading this year?
All those YA books! 2008 is my reading year for the Printz; more details on that later. But confidentiality is one aspect, so I will not list specific titles. If you are looking for great and varied suggestions, Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray has her own book list as well as a round up of the bloggers who have shared their looking forward lists.
In the meanwhile, while I won't list the titles I am looking forward to reading, I will say that I am looking forward to reading, reading YA, and reading with my "Printz glasses" on.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
You're supposed to do that?
OK, Sarcasm over.
The Cassie Edwards debate: the ladies at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books have a full report with up to date linkage on the situation first reported at their website (and now being covered by no less than The New York Times.)
The allegations: that Edwards lifts text, word for word, from reference books to use in her romance fiction. As an aside, Edwards writes historical fiction; Native Americans and Native American culture are main elements. Here is SB,TB's first post pointing out the similarities between Edwards books and the alleged source material.
I won't recap beyond that, except to say go and read the posts and the links.
Here's the thing; I am coming down firmly that Edwards did a no-no. You don't quote and not attribute; and the rules are not different from fiction. Plenty of fiction, including historical fiction, including romance, do acknowledge source material.
Another interesting point; unlike the Kaavya situation, the publisher is standing behind its author.
But here is my question.
So you're resourcing The Past. And you use Book A. It describes Something You Want To Use. A Historical Fact.
How much do you rewrite? What is OK to cut and paste because its "a fact"?
OK, I'm off to ALA as soon as Carlie arrives. See you later, alligator!
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
YALSA is holding its first YA literature symposium in Nashville from November 7-9, 2008, and the theme is "How We Read Now." During the infamous weekend where I introduced Liz to her TV boyfriend, Don Eppes, we put together a proposal for the symposium. We thought that with the popularity of teen participation in book worlds (check out the Twilight fandom and/or Stephenie Meyer's website for a shining example of this), this conference would be a great time to discuss fandom, fan life, and what Henry Jenkins calls "participatory culture." We wrote up a proposal and it was accepted. We're very excited and honored, because YALSA only chose 14 of the 40 proposals they received.
The plan (subject to change as the date of the conference draws closer) is: At the symposium, Liz and I will talk about what fandom is, who writes fanfiction and why, and how librarians can do easy, fun fandom programming at their libraries that will encourage teens to participate in a book's world. Our third panelist will be Amy Tenbrink of Narrate Conferences, Inc., who will talk about planning Harry Potter conferences and how they encourage participatory culture. Who knows, we might even have a drabble contest.
(And of course, we already know what we're wearing.)
The only thing better than reading Harry Potter and discussing it online is reading Harry Potter and discussing it in person, right?
This is your chance to not only discuss all your favorite aspects of Harry Potter, but to maybe get academic credit for it, too.
I had the pleasure of presenting at Narrate Conferences, Inc.'s last symposium, Phoenix Rising, on the topic of what it's like to
review books for professional publications (I review for Kirkus and VOYA as well as Teenreads.com) versus what it's like to
review fanfiction. Let me tell you: These people at Narrate put on a good show.
If you've got a paper about Harry (or any of the other hundreds of characters), now's your chance to submit it for
(Disclaimer: Although I do know many of the people on the Narrate Conferences staff, I am not associated with the
business in any way.)
CALL FOR PAPERS: Terminus
August 7-11, 2008
A Harry Potter Conference presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.
Terminus, an interdisciplinary Harry Potter-themed conference to take place August 7- 11, 2008, in Chicago, Illinois, seeks papers, panels,
interactive workshops, roundtable discussions, and other presentation formats suitable for an audience of academics, students, professionals,
The overarching conference themes focus on the completed series. Analyses that address the development of topics through the entirety
of the seven Harry Potter books are especially encouraged, including those topics that focus on the related cultural phenomenon. The
programming will not be limited to those themes, however, and proposals that address specific aspects of the Harry Potter series, related
works, and surrounding community across all disciplines are encouraged as well. A non-exhaustive list of sample topics includes literary
analyses of the novels; studies of the cultural phenomenon; use of the novels in schools and libraries for education; examination of related
business and legal issues; scientific explanations of magic in the series; media and fan studies; craft-based workshops in writing, art, and
publishing; and overviews of how the series and films fit into larger contexts.
Submission to the vetting board is by online system only. No other format or contact will be accepted. The submission system is located
The deadline for proposals is February 1, 2008, and notices regarding proposals will be sent no later than March 1, 2008.
At the time of proposal submission, we require an abstract of 300-500 words, a 50-100 word presentation summary, and a
presenter biography of no more than 100 words. Those wishing to submit a proposal for a roundtable discussion may submit
a brief explanation of a topic and a list of 10-15 sample discussion questions in lieu of a formal abstract.
Conference papers will be collected for publication at a later date. Presenters must be registered for the conference no later
than April 15, 2008. For more information about programming, our review process and proposal submissions, please see
the Terminus website at http://www.terminus2008.org/programming/. Questions specifically about programming may
be directed to programming @ terminus2008.org.
Terminus is a presentation of Narrate Conferences, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission of organizing
academic, literary, and exploratory conferences that appeal to adult scholars, students, professionals, and fans. For
inquiries about Narrate Conferences, Inc., please write to info @ narrateconferences.org.
This conference is not endorsed, sanctioned or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros.
Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
OK it's a date!
Julie at Readers Carousel is the girl with a plan, so thanks to her we have a date and a time.
Comment here and at RC so we have an idea of how many people will be there.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Maggiano's Little Italy
1201 Filbert St, Philadelphia
(next to the convention center)
I first saw the "Did You Grow Up Privileged" Meme at E. Lockhart's blog. And while there are definitely some weaknesses to it, c'mon, it's a 31 Question meme. Given that, it's interesting.
And it relates to children's literature (and story) because it ties in to the discussion about poverty and class in literature; and I think how a person grew up affects many things that they never realize. I think that's why I look at books and movies and TV to not only be needed mirrors, but also needed windows, because the person who grows up thinking the way they grew up is the ONLY way; and all others are "less", grows up very narrow. And that is dangerous.
At the same time, whenever I do think of poverty/class lit, I also fear the danger voiced in the song Common People: the person who views poverty as some type of place to visit because "you think being poor is cool." (For the record: I adore William Shatner's cover of this song. Seriously.)
Time for the meme:
From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.
(note from Liz: like others, I'm commenting on the statements, using italics. . So, this is probably a bit different from the original meme.)
Bold the true statements.
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college (and grad school)
Actually, I am not sure about grad school. He may have.
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college (and grad school)
Here is one of those examples where, due to the limitations of the meme, it's not very nuanced. My mother dropped out of college when she got married; which meant that when my sister and I were little, she was balancing being married, a mother of two small children, working a job at night to help pay tuition, going to school part time, and also teaching full time at a local Catholic school that so needed teachers that it was OK she didn't have her degree, yet.
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
I believe there is second cousin or some such who graduated law school a semester or two before me; and there are those who did so after me. But in terms of growing up, did I have or know of family with these degrees? Nope.
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
Probably "same". Definitely not higher. But I'm not sure, especially since we had some financial reversals around this time.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children's books by a parent.
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18.
Not nuanced enough. As a child, I had a summer of swimming lessons; around 8th grade or so, a year or two of art lessons; and, depending on where we lived, took advantage of summer rec programs such as pottery, etc. Music lessons? No; because having or renting an instrument was too expensive (that was what my mother said when I asked for them.) My sister had ballet lessons, and I know it was a sacrifice. And ended for financial reasons, not because my sister lost interest.
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.
While answering yes, I think this is not nuanced enough; that I had swimming lessons at age six and art lessons from ages 11 to 13 hardly is the same as a child who each year has swimming, piano, dance, etc.
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.
I'm trying to remember this as a child; has the "Jersey accent" always been mocked? With the whole big hair thing? Yep; but as I never had that accent or that hair I wouldn't say "like me." Ditto for the often ridiculous and sometimes insulting portrayals of Irish Americans, Italian Americans, and Catholics.
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.
Scholarships and loans which I am still paying off. If I were doing this meme, I would also add a bit about parents giving money towards a home purchase. Because these two factors are not just about how one grew up, but one's current lifestyle, and what one can give to their own kids. Why? Because it's about the amount of debt one is carrying. Put two people in the same job, one who has no college/school debt and a down payment from their parents, and who is paying college debt and rent so cannot save for a down payment and cannot expect that from their parents, and you see the consequences beyond one's own childhood.
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.
16. Went to a private high school.
I went to Catholic high school. Which is not quite the same as private high school. As an aside, both my sister and I went to Catholic grammar schools for part of our K-8 schooling; at one point, the sacrifice my mother made to meet tuition was moving in with her parents and living with them.
17. Went to summer camp.
For three years I went to a one week long sleepaway Girl Scout camp. Fun, yes; but not some summer long expensive thing.
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.
One thing my mother valued was vacations, and being together as a family. Plus, financially, some things changed upon her remarriage. So, from the time I was about 5 to 13, my mother, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins went to Myrtle Beach, staying at an inexpensive motel, one block from the beach, several people to a room. My grandparents took me to Ireland when I was about 12; we stayed with family or in B&Bs. For my stepfather's business trips, we went to Disneyworld.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.
Some new, as I was the oldest; but others were handmedowns from older relatives.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
Hell no. Bought my own car. However, the family attitude, and mine still, is better to buy a new car than someone else's problem, so I have always bought new and once the repair/upkeep exceeds what a car payment would be, buy another one. New.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.
For some reason, this makes me giggle.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.
I moved 13 times in my first 18 years; at times living in apartments, rented homes, rented condominiums, and grandparents. Looking at it averaged out, most often I lived in a single family house.
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.
Not nuanced enough. For the years we rented, I can tell you that other kids (even those who are friends) are bastards. Often told, even by friends, that it wasn't my real house because we didn't own it. (The things that were said about my mother being divorced? Such as of course someone would think twice about marrying me because of the bad example? Another meme. But still, being the single working woman renting in a neighborhood of SAHMs? Not pretty.) We owned one home for a year when I was in 8th grade, thanks to my mother's remarriage, but for family reasons (the death of my grandfather) sold that home and moved in with my grandmother; a new home was bought right before I left for college.
25. You had your own room as a child.
It depended on the place we lived at the time; I'd say more than half the time my sister and I shared. During high school, we shared.
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course
Wow, this is a big one. I grew up thinking these courses were for kids who needed it; didn't realize the game was you took it to make a good score better.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.
Nope. And I am a firm believer that TVs do not belong in kids bedrooms. But I think I'll save that for a "how to watch TV" post.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
In college, we (and another family) rented sailboats as a vacation. But that was after 18.
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.
Part of the benefit of living close to cities like Philadelphia and NYC; and part from a divorced Dad looking for things to do on weekends.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.
Again, not nuanced enough. Unaware of heating bills. But aware that at one point we needed to move in with grandparents because of finances; aware of how much clothes and shoes and coats cost; aware of how much food cost.
So that is 17.
Bringing it back to books for kids and teens. In the books I read, sometimes people lived in apartments but more often they lived in homes. That the family owned. I cannot recall reading about renters. Even now, the default, I believe, is a family living in home it owns; oh, sometimes it's "the city" and apartments, but how often is it apartments in the suburbs? Or a renter?