Afternoon links.

  • At Diversity in YA: Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews, Part 1: "Scarcely Plausible".  "One individual’s personal experience is not universal. There’s nothing wrong with a reviewer recognizing that to them the book’s diversity felt jarring, but that doesn’t mean the book’s depiction was flawed. That means the book’s depiction of a diverse group of characters is different than the reviewer’s personal experience. In fact, if a book depicts something that a reviewer is unfamiliar with, I would hope the reviewer might take a moment to consider what that means." DO NOT MISS.
  • At Diversity in YA: Perceptions of Diversity in Book Reviews, Part 2: "So Many (Too Many?) Issues". "I don’t have any definitive proof that there’s an invisible ceiling on the number of issues a YA novel can contain, but reviews such as those above do police the boundaries of what is acceptable in a realistic YA novel. I have talked to many authors who feel that this invisible ceiling does exist; it is basically common knowledge among minority authors that including more than one minority identity in a book is a huge risk for your career." MORE UNMISSABLE STUFF FROM MALINDA LO.
  • From the Chicago Reader: How CPS officials decided to pull Persepolis from the classroom. "The first blowback came that Wednesday—March 13—when network chiefs wrote Gurley to tell her there are rules in place that keep them from simply taking books out of school libraries." WOW. And some people think concern about book challenges and censorship is all pearl-clutching and paranoia. (Previously.)
  • Causing controversy in Cary, North Carolina: One Crazy Summer and Esperanza Rising.  "“I think ultimately this takes some very difficult topics and allows kids to see a part of history that they normally would not see,” said Rusty Taylor, a coordinating teacher in Wake’s instructional technology and library media services office. “One of the messages that we want kids to have is that they have to learn how to make decisions for themselves."" The result being, of course, is that I immediately wandered over to the stacks and grabbed both books for EVEN MORE weekend reading.
  • At Kill Your Darlings: Agent Carter and the future of the female superhero. "For purposes of historical accuracy at the very least, it’s essential that Agent Carter explores issues of sexism – but the most interesting thing about Peggy should not be that she has to put up with a bunch of misogynistic dillweeds, and the suggestion that this is her greatest battle is entirely demeaning (she’s also helping to save the free world, FYI)."
  • At Flavorwire: Reading Judy Blume: A Treasury of Awkward Moments. "My mom panicked when she saw Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret in the stack of books I was checking out during our bi-weekly trip to the library, grabbed it, told me she didn’t think I was ‘ready’ for it, and wouldn’t let me check it out. I was nine. I began howling about CENSORSHIP, and my mom’s face was bright red… my best friend’s grandmother was the librarian, and she pretended not to notice my tantrum. I had a big public meltdown, embarrassing us both, and then borrowed it from a friend and read it anyway (of course). A few weeks later she had the period talk with me, for which I had nothing but disdain, because I already learned it all from Judy Blume." DYING.
  • At Booth: A Conversation with Jonathan Franzen:

SL: [Jennifer Weiner has] written that because she perhaps has less at stake in the literary community than women who write more “literary” fiction, she’s become the de facto spokeswoman.

JF: That’s unfortunate, because it’s an important issue and she’s an unfortunate person to have as a spokesperson.

SL: Have you read any of her books?

JF: No!