Afternoon links.

Still working through my backlog, ag:

  • Via that conversation, at GoodReads: Edginess in YA Novels by Pete Hautman. "Because I viewed my life as mundane, I read books that let me experience things outside my personal history—war, sex, death, agony, ecstasy, horror, etc. I wanted to know about life on the edge. I wanted to experience the whole human package, from birth to death, and I wanted it NOW."
  • PLAY ZORK ON TWITTER, WHAAAAAAAAAAAT.
  • At BookRiot: 2015 Is the Year of the Feminist YA Novel. "That’s not an indictment against any other YA years nor any of the amazing feminist novels that came before. Rather, 2015 is the year when keeping track of feminist novels becomes hard because they are abundant. Because they’re going to change the course of conversation."
  • At the Guardian: A dyslexic author's writing tips for dyslexic kids. "I’m going to say something that’s going to shock you now. You might want to sit down, no, go on, really sit down. Spelling isn’t important. It really isn’t, people get hung up on it. Being able to spell has nothing to do with being a good writer. Being able to know how a car engine works, doesn’t make you a racing driver. It’s about having something to say. It’s about feeling the wind in your hair."
  • Also at the Guardian: Authors and teenagers share the books that saved their life. "My first loyalty will always be to Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – I read it some years ago now, but it’s only since I’ve bought it in paperback that it has become my talisman. It’s been through the hands of others, the suitcases of others; it came back and forth with me all the way through play rehearsals, and all the way through exams. I’ve read it so many times that I know it inside and out. Opening its pages is like sitting down to a cup of tea and a chat with Celaena. It’s my home away from home where I know I’ll not be judged, and even when I don’t have it with me I can whisper the words that saved its protagonist: I will not be afraid. And throughout all of this, I can see that there’s an author behind this book who first wrote it when she was just a teenager like me, and it gives me hope that maybe I can inspire people just as she has inspired me." CUE UP EVERYONE'S FAVORITE PSA: BOOKS DON'T HAVE TO BE CAPITAL-L LITERARY TO RESONATE WITH READERS, TO CAPTURE HEARTS, TO BE WORTHY OF CLOSE READING, TO BE IMPORTANT.
  • At Flavorwire: 15 YA Writers on Their Favorite Book for Adults. "E. Lockhart: Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins. I mainly read YA because I have a PhD in literature and I need the complexity and emotion to remain intellectually engaged, but sometimes I do like to relax with an adult book. It’s nice to rest my mind with long descriptions and philosophical digressions and to read about feelings like ambivalence and activities like elder care. I really enjoy Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume because he writes so well about vegetables before he gets to the sexy bits." Snerk.
  • At the NCAC: No Ugly Talk: Why One Alabama Superintendent Barred High Schoolers from Watching Selma. "Throughout history, citing a piece’s “dirty words” has been a cornerstone of censorship. Words may offend our delicate sensibilities, particularly when those words are decontextualized from the artistic work at hand. Profanity has increasingly, however, become a convenient veil for masking more damning, openly discriminatory ideas of what should be censored."
  • At the HuffPo: 20 New Classics Every Child Should Own.
  • At Open Culture: Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Writes a Children’s Book Celebrating Charlie Parker (1964)