“Talk Amongst Yourselves”*

I was sent a link to an unexpected surprise today.

Mark Flowers has written a complete and fascinating (to me at least) analysis of the relative literary merit of all of my novels, both YA and historical fiction.

I’m stunned by this and honored. Never thought of having anyone look at everything I’ve written at the same time. I don’t want to judge or argue his comments; his opinions are well-thought out and valid. I would like to offer my POV about PROM, but that would be a good blog post for later in May. For now, let’s just say the motivation for PROM was very different than for my other books. And if you really enjoy my darker YAs, it makes a lot of sense that PROM isn’t going to be your cup of tea.

Go and read his piece and post comments there or here or everywhere.

*Title taken from SNL’s Coffee Talk sketch.

Republic, MO superintendant resigns

Vernon Minor, Superintendant of Republic, MO school district, has resigned, three months after the school board voted not to extend his contract.

This is the district that banned Speak, Slaughterhouse Five, and Twenty Boy Summer after a local man, Wesley Scroggins, complained about the books. In addition to book banning, Minor faced a number of other challenges during his tenure in Republic.

Speak was later put back in the classroom, I believe. (Can anyone with first-hand knowledge confirm this for me?) The other two books are in a “secure” spot in the library. Here is my original blog post written when the books were first challenged.

What do I think about this latest turn of events?

I think that the people who live in that school district have probably spent a lot of time discussing the controversies. I suspect that the school board members have heard from many of their fellow citizens. I hope that this change in administration will help the district move forward. I hope that teachers and librarians will be able to do their jobs without fear. That students will be able to read freely, and think, and discuss any and all topics, even the ones that can frighten and challenge adults.

Details about the resignation

What do you think?