“One of the great values of literature is its ability to convey experiences different from our own, to let us see inside the heads of characters from different time periods, different countries, different races, classes, and, yes, ages. Every time a grownup reads a YA book, they widen their perspective in important ways.”
Amid recent articles dismissing recent works of young adult fiction as unimportant, embarrassing and works of “juvenilia”, comes Julie Beck’s piece in today’s TheAtlantic.com. The Adult Lessons of YA Fiction discusses the importance of revisiting the “elemental truths” found in the YA fiction that we once loved as kids and how they can be every bit as meaningful to us as adults.
We couldn’t agree more.
Michael A. Banks, writer and editor of science fiction and non-fiction recently shared with us how Stephen Meader’s Bulldozer inspired him at an early age and helped shape his goals as a writer:
I first read Bulldozer in 1959, at the very beginning of the Space Age. Anything seemed possible, what with satellites orbiting Earth and men to follow. I was constantly exploring how things worked and trying to do more with my chemistry set and microscope than was possible. I built models, I read books, magazines and newspapers. With my friends I even built miniature Interstate highways on the dirt floor of an abandoned barn, using our Doepke and Tonka bulldozers, graders and other toys. My area had no organized sports to offer, and even the pickup baseball games I so enjoyed were given rather short shrift as I packed all my other activities–including Scouts–into days that always seemed to need more hours.
Through all of this I had a fine example–a role model–to inspire me to keep going and try new things: young Bill Crane and his bulldozer. This inspiration carried on into my young adult years, when Bill’s failures as well as his successes began to ring true. With the realization that I had no real support and would face failures came more inspiration, because that was exactly Bill’s situation. Decades after reading Bulldozer, I can look back over my own doubts and opposition, and feel good that I faced them and made it through them to succeed–just as Bill Crane and Stephen W. Meader himself did. Overcoming the doubts and opposition were in themselves successes, and further inspired me to continue striving for my goal: I became a writer, and next year will see my 45th book published.,
It’s officially summer.
It’s the time of year when teenagers sleep until noon, swimming pools rarely stay tranquil, and friends linger on patios watching children run barefoot through the neighborhood way past dark. Its also when many people perfect the art of slowing down and relaxing with a good book.
Although some of our favorite Meader summer-ish titles such as Topsail Island Treasure and Everglades Adventure didn’t make the list, TIME editors have compiled a list of The 12 All-Time Great Summer Reads. The perfect way to kick-off your summer reading.
Now all you need is the hammock.
In honour of World Book Day, which is being celebrated today in the UK, we thought we’d delve into the interesting stories and trivia hiding behind some of the most popular and successful books ever written. So, here goes…
The biggest-selling book written in English is Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens’s 1859 novel about the French Revolution (the ‘two cities’ of the title are London and Paris) is in many ways his most untypical book: of the fifteen novels he wrote (including the unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood), it is arguably the least comic (with Hard Times not far ahead of it for laughs). Since no small part of Dickens’s perennial popularity is surely his genius for comedy, along with his portrayals of Victorian London, it seems odd that this novel – which is largely set in Paris – should be his most popular…
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Remember the bookbags you carried back in elementary school? If you were lucky, Mom took you back-to-school shopping for slacks, shoes and a new bookbag to hold all those textbooks. I can’t remember what my last bag looked like. But when I started playing around with discarded textbooks, I knew what my next bookbag could look like.
Long before I bought shoulder bags made from a Guatemalan coffee sack and knitted plastic grocery bags, and way before upcycling or DIY were terms I’d actually heard of, I started making book purses.
Happy to report there are several, new-to-me book purses in production. Here are a few from the archives.
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