At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


One for the children's librarians out there: NYT article on Barbara Feinberg's Welcome to Lizard Motel: Children, Stories, and the Mystery of Making Things Up. "Her curiosity plunges Feinberg into the contemporary genre of young adult (Y.A.) 'problem novels,' the bane of her son's existence. These books describe, with spare realism, child and teenage protagonists weathering abuse, addiction, parental abandonment or fecklessness, mental illness, pregnancy, suicide, violence, prostitution or self-mutilation -- and often a combination of the above. 'Teachers love them,' the local librarian explains as Feinberg scans a shelf of such titles. 'They win all the awards.'...Problem novels represent just a fraction of the Y.A. market, but one particularly esteemed by educators and prize committees. (Newbery Medal winners are notoriously glum.)" Our custom has been to buy the Newbery and Caldecott winners each year for our Education students; this article may make me want to branch out.


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