I am deep in (what I hope are) the last revisions for next year’s historical. I have also started a new experimental writing schedule. I’ll report on its success or failure next month.
Here are a few things for you to ponder:
Sherman Alexie (I am a huge fan and have been for years) mentions my book Catalyst on page 178 in his YA novel that will be published in September, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I loved this book…. and I hardly ever say that, so take it for what it is worth. And I would love it just as much if he hadn’t mentioned Catalyst. Maybe a little bit more, because now I feel kind of awkward about the whole thing.
To be fair, he mentions ten books in a list of favorite books given by Junior, the story’s narrator: The Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in the Rye, Fat Kid Rules the World, Tangerine, Feed, Catalyst(!), Invisible Man, Fools Crow, and Jar of Fools. I just put the last two titles on my wish list. If you are looking for something to read this summer, this is a great list to work from, IMHO.
(Thank you, Ed Spicer for the heads-up about this.) Does anyone out there know Sherman Alexie? I would love to know why he chose these books. Plus, I’d like to say thanks for the shout-out.
Thanks, too, to John Green (whom I still haven’t met!) for the nice review of Twisted in the New York Times. (You need to be registered for the link to work.) I do take issue with his characterization of the note in the book that says “This is a not a book for children” as a marketing ploy. It isn’t. If we ever get to meet, I’ll buy him a cup of coffee and we can talk about it.
There are two new books out that all teachers of middle grade and high school English should have on their shelves:
Books That Don’t Bore ‘Em: Young Adult Books That Speak to This Generation by Jim Blasingame of Arizona State University. Here is what the publisher says: Young adult literature expert Jim Blasingame helps teachers understand the power and purpose of young adult literature. He also presents instructional strategies proven to facilitate students’ interactions with texts—and promote higher order thinking skills. Includes annotated lists—organized by theme, topic, genre, reading level, and more—of the best young adult books as well as fascinating interviews with 30 of today’s most popular YA authors.”
Dear Author: Letters of Hope; Top Young Adult Authors Respond to Kids’ Toughest Issues by Joan Kaywell of the University of South Florida. Here is what School Library Journal says, in part: “If there was ever a book that every young adult librarian and every reading teacher should read, this is it. And the students with whom they work will be clamoring to get their hands on it as well. Dear Author is an astounding compilation of letters from teen readers to writers, and their replies. The letters speak of heartache, abuse, bullying, ostracism, and other issues that these young people have faced. They have written to the authors because they have identified with one or more of their characters. Lois Duncan and John Ritter reply with heartfelt responses, identifying with their readers and encouraging them to be strong. Following the letters are short biographies and bibliographies for each of the authors included. Why is this book so essential? First, it clearly shows what a tremendous impact YA literature has on teens. Second, it is immensely helpful in highlighting titles that just may help students/patrons deal with situations that are looming large in their lives.”
The Leg is healing nicely. I am walking without hobbling, pretty much, and staring at my running shoes with undisguised lust. Four more days until the bandages come off, ten until I see the doctor and beg him to let me run again.