HumpDay Post

We’re working on the We’re the People Summer Reading list and hope to release that mid April.

Have you any idea what’s the first Latinx young adult novel? Or, the first Muslim? What about the first YA to win a YALSA award? If so, please share in the comments.

If you’ve been missing the monthly posting of what’s new in YA by #OwnVoices authors, you’re going to have to wait another year for that to pick back up. Because of my commitment to YALSA’s Printz Selection Committee, I’ve been asked not to post anything that relates to books that are eligible for the 2018 award. That includes lists of titles, lists of debut authors, reviews or author interviews. There my have been a few slips there at first, but I find Twitter trickier to navigate than this blog. I might want to re-Tweet or ‘like’ something but have to avoid it on the new books. I knew most of this before my appointment began. I knew it would be challenging to be silenced for a year and I really thought about it. We need to integrate these committees, but we also need voices that are critically reviewing books and promoting authors and their works. So few are doing those critical reviews! I suggest you visit BookToss, American Indians in Children’s Literature or Dammit, This is a Blog for those. To keep up with authors and their works I’d suggest most of the blogs in my blog roll and you can access them at the bottom of my homepage, just click the ‘+” sign.

I can interview authors who do NOT have books coming in 2017. If you’re a YA author of color, or a Native American author who’s up for an interview, let’s set something up! Perhaps you know an author with something coming out in 2018 or there’s a wonderful older book that’s been flying under the radar. I’d love to interview that author. My email: crazyquilts at hotmail

I’m just about finished with the biography project I began in February, however I have one last books to feature. I’ll post a review as well as an interview with the author in the next couple of days. Offline, the biography project has grown into “weeding” my biography collection. I’ve been manually going through each title deciding which to keep and which to discard. Ideally, I’d like to read and research each title, but there just isn’t time enough IMG_4171-1to do that. It’s foolish to think a biography of Jesse Owens needs to be discarded just because it was written in the 1950s. While these books need critical reads for biases, incorrect information and citation work, many of the older biographies offer a much more rigorous background than those written today. Current biographies are more often picture books or chapter books rather than something a middle grader or young adult would read. I’m going to suspect publishers think teens will read adult biographies, but I could be wrong. Some of the gems I’ve found are biographies that don’t even belong in a children’s collection: autobiographies by Ty Cobb, Hans Christian Anderson and Johnny Cash; a biography by Theodore Dreiser’s niece (he lived in Terre Haute) and a first edition book about Frederick Douglass by Arna Bontemps. I’m only about halfway through with this, so I expect to find more of these. I have to decide which individual biographies to keep as people come in and out of vogue. Tipper Gore? Chris Burke? Sir Frances Drake? Is there a checklist on weekend biographies? I know to keep those with a local interest and of course those that circulate often. I tend to keep biographies of women and those from marginalized groups because they’re not written often. I’ll keep the beat up book about Jimmy Carter because there should be books on all the presidents in a children’s library.

In the midst of this, I’m noticing that catalogers put some biographies in the general biography section and others in the subject area. I think that stems from academic librarians having to go back and forth between Library of Congress and Dewey. I think Library of Congress puts biographies in subject areas, but Dewey puts them in 920ishes or “Biography’. As a result, I have a mishmash when consistency is they key to organizing to find things.

As you’re reading those 2017 books, be sure to visit the sites for the various ALA awards to recommend titles that you think are award eligible. We work really hard to find books, but there are so many out there that some could slip by.