> I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Freaks and Geeks. It is not a book, but it’s a smart, nuanced television show that, I think, ‘reads” as a literary text. This show ran for one year (’99-00) on NBC and is now a cult classic and critical favorite; in regards to bullying, its strength lies in connecting greater socioeconomic forces to the lives of bullies and their targets. (Note: I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Glee. And Mean Girls. And Everybody Loves Chris. And 30 Rock’s “Reunion” episode.)
"The Harry Potter series: Nobody would ever merely describe this series as “books about bullying,” but bullying relationships of every kind are woven throughout all seven texts. Hogwarts is cluttered with a wide variety of power dynamics—between older students and younger, between professors, between professors and students—the list goes on. Older readers will appreciate how J.K. Rowling deftly re-casts her aggressors into targets, then into bystanders, and back again, and vice versa."
"Welcome to the Queer Hip-Hop Revolution, young-adult-style. Transgressive Y.A. novels are all the rage—all the cool kids are reading them. Thus, continuing my desperate, life-long mission to sit at the popular table, I am too. Being a huge supporter of grrrl rockers, I fell hard for Laura Goode’s Sister Mischief (Candlewick Press), which centers on a swaggering, all-chick teen hip-hop group from the mean streets of, um, a wealthy, super-Christian suburb of Minneapolis. You can’t help but cheer as Goode’s crew—starring Esme, a Jewish lesbian songwriter who goes by “M.C. Ferocious”; D.J. SheStorm, a badass breeder; and M.C. Rohini, a hot desi chick and Ferocious’s love interest—take over a pep rally, read Diane di Prima, and throw down rhymes."
"As a secondary English teacher for 42 years, this was yet another affirmation that Alexie’s book was affecting the lives of students, even those not in my classes. Few books have elicited this kind of response from students. Comments from readers ranged from, “This is the first book I’ve ever read,” to, “I’ve been there Mr. D, honest. It’s my life story.”"
"The rise of screen-based media has not melted children’s brains, despite ardent warnings otherwise: “It does not appear that time spent using screen media (TV, video games and computers) displaces time spent with print media,” the report stated. Teens are not only reading more books, they’re involved in communities of like-minded book lovers. The Story Siren, a young adult online book review authored by an Indiana graduate student gets 3,500-4,000 unique page views a day."
- Gay YA: GLBT characters & pairings in YA Fiction - "The Ultimate Gay Reading List"
- "Children’s Books by and about People of Color Published in the United States"
(Statistics Gathered by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- The Atlantic’s YA Fiction Series.
- New website: Diversity in YA Fiction (includes Blog, Reading Challenge, Tour).