Back in February, I wrote a rather long, rather ranty, rather snobby post about Syfy’s The Magicians, which is based on some of my all-time favorite books. Much to my surprise, that post has received more comments than any other post I’ve written, due, in part, to the strange fact that it can be found by plugging the words “Eliot” and “snaggletooth” into Google. Amazing.
I love the YA community on the interwebs. Truly, I do. Twitter, Goodreads, and the blogosphere are great places to read the thoughts and opinions of many smart, fascinating, righteous folks (writers, librarians, book bloggers, teachers, etc.) who deserve your attention. They are diligently trying to make the world better which is, really, what we all should be doing.
Anyone who’s read my FAQ page already knows that I’m a huge fan of The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman. Seriously, they are the shit. A whole mess of spoilers are about to follow so if you haven’t read the books, stop reading this post and go directly to a library, bookstore or Kindle and acquire them. Now.
Back in September, NPR did a piece about the premiere of Nina’s World, the first original show for children’s TV network Sprout. Before we go too far, I need to say that I’ve never watched even a single episode of the show. All I know about it is what Mandalit Del Barco told me on the radio—it follows a six-year-old Latina girl named Nina as she hangs out with her hip grandmother and grows up in a multicultural neighborhood.
Because I have an infant and rarely see movies in the theater anymore, I didn’t see Nightcrawler until a few months after it was released on Netflix. In case you haven’t seen it, the film follows the highly-motivated, thirty-something Louis Bloom as he tries to make a career for himself as a videographer who sells gritty footage to news stations. It’s beautifully shot, well-acted, and gripping as hell. Seriously, I really enjoyed it. I swear. But something about it bothered me and continued to nag at my arguably overly-sensitive sensibilities for days.
Earlier this month, Nielsen’s #KidsBookSummit caused quite an uproar on Twitter. Among other faux pas, the summit included a panel of adult YA readers who claimed they wanted to see less dystopian, more realism, and a possible name change to the genre (YAH, or young-at-heart, was suggested). Obviously I wasn’t there, I just read the play-by-play through Twitter, but the whole thing seemed all sorts of off and awkward and tone-deaf for a lot of reasons I won’t get into. It also sparked a pretty virulent reaction, mostly from YA writers, and a discussion of who YA is for.