In Defense of YA, a round up of YA reader and writer voices that comment on the Wall Street Journal pieces by Megan Cox Gurdon that lit up the twittersphere with the creation of #YAsaves in June. By now, much has been written about in reaction to the question Darkness Too Visible? but here at Hunger Mountain we care not only what we writers think, we care about what the readers think. The teen readers. YA is after all for young adults. What they think matters. Thank you to the teens who took time out of their summer vacation plans to lend their voices, their intellect, and their wit to join with YA authors everywhere who tackle darkness, light, and everything in between.
Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, as well as a Toolbox piece, Searching for Truth in History’s Shadows: Finding the Characters in Jefferson’s Sons , also by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
Congratulations are also in order for Hunger Mountain Young Adult & Children’s Assistant Editor E. Kristen Morse, who along with Miranda Kenneally, whose popular website DearTeenMe, will now be an anthology, with new and original content, forthcoming from Zest Books in 2012. Since coming on board here at Hunger Mountain Emily’s expertise and enthusiasm is much appreciated. We wish her and Dear Teen Me, the book, every success.
And don’t forget our next issue, The Art & Insanity of Creativity is coming soon. We are still accepting fiction submissions. Please see here, for guidelines.
Earlier content from The Varying Shade of Shadows issue.
The Little Bitty Bakery by Leslie Muir. This delectable treat will leave you wanting more…look for The Little Bitty Bakery to be released August 30th. Author/illustrator Don Tate takes us into his Austin studio with his piece Toot Toot Tootie Toot: an Illustrator Captures Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, detailing his choices and art-in-progress for his October release. And New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith in her piece, Going Graphic, details how she and illustrator Ming Doyle created the visual world for her characters to inhabit, in the eagerly awaited Tantalize: Kieren’s Story. Fans of the gothic series will not be disappointed.
When, Along with her Characters, an Author Gets In Trouble by Ellen Levine, describes running into a wall of silence with her latest book, In Trouble. The Monsters in Us All, by Dr. Ilsa J. Bick is a precursor to Hunger Mountain’s In Defense of YA. We chose to spotlight Ilsa J. Bick’s thoughtful but cutting response now as she not only disagrees with Megan Cox Gurdon—she also agrees, with certain points, that is. As always, please feel free to weigh in in the comments section of each piece.
For What My Last Book Taught Me, Monika Schröder advises us to Learn to Drive in the Dark as she takes a trip back to discover what her latest novel, My Brother’s Shadow, taught her as a writer. Lastly, as all the world is a stage, we offer Jest A Minute, which pokes fun at all the dark/light publishing hullabaloo, with a list of Ten Classics Revamped to Capitalize on the Dark YA Trend (created by none other than moi) and a second list–of Ten New Titles to Please All by author and humorist K. A. Holt. Read, respond, enjoy!
Also check out This Writer’s Life: The Politics of Story by Neesha Meminger author of Shine, Coconut Moon and Jazz in Love. Neesha explores and argues, with great clarity, how writing fiction is and always will be a political act. In our Industry Insider we host a Q & A with Anita Silvey, author, children’s literature scholar and the creator of the popular Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac. We also add to our growing list of new fiction with Quarry, a short story by Kevin Waltman that captures the delight and danger in a trip to a forbidden place.
Let There Be Light and Clare Dunkle’s On the Dark Side. Both authors had their pieces well in the works before the June 4th Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon asked the question: Is Darkness Too Visible?. Also be sure to check out new fiction: Stone Field, a re-imagining of Wuthering Heights, by Christy Lenzi; Starcatcher, a unique fantasy by Penny Blublaugh author of Blood & Flowers; Monsters, a surprising and raw read by Jennifer Hubbard; The Proposal, fiction by Lindsey Lane that dives deep into the hiddenness of our human natures and our desires to be both safe and loved.
You can also read earlier features: an exploration of self and sisterhood by Janet Gurtler in Embracing Shadows; also In the Half-Light, an essay detailing the shadowy subconscious that aided Hunger Mountain Sneak Peek author Joe Lunievicz in creating his debut novel, Open Wounds (WestSide Books, 2011); the wickedly smart investigation into the use of elision by Janet Fox in The Shadowy Landscape of Dreams Where Reader and Writer Meet. Our Industry Insider Column offers an interview with Elena Mechlin and Joan Slattery in New Faces at Pippin Properties. Be sure to check out the instructive Toolbox piece, Where the Teens Are: 5 Ways to Freshen Up YA Fiction’s Favorite Places from Deborah Halverson, author of the newly released, Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies, and the In Response essay to the Passion for the Picture Book special feature by the outstanding author Liz Garton Scanlon.
So, please stop back often. Read, respond, share your thoughts, delight in the darkness and luxuriate in the light. They both offer respite and reward. Go ahead, see for yourselves.
Bethany Hegedus, Editor