Sunday, April 11, 2010


I have a daughter who's going to be thirteen next month. She's a great reader, too. She is particularly a fan of Lisa Yee (she loved Absolutely Maybe), Yvonne Prinz (The Vinyl Princess was a favorite read this past year), and Julie Halpern (she read Get Well Soon and Into the Wild Nerd Yonder this year), but she draws from a wide shelf of YA (now that she's growing out of MG -- *sniff*) titles.

So, I was cruising around YA book blog sites, like I sometimes do when I'm in the mood for looking at pink color themes, and I found one YA blog that I thought was kind of... well... interesting. Here's what hit me about the blog:

First, of course, it has a pink background. Screaming pink. Because, of course, pink equals YA in the universal calculus of color schemes. Second, the blog is maintained by seven YA authors. I have no problem that all seven of the authors are women, because, as you know, XX is the universal genetic code for YA authors. Third, the tagline for the blog goes like this: "YA Authors... discuss writing... and, of course, hot guys."

Because, as we all know, in the universal discussion guide for YA, I believe, on page one, there is a requirement for discussing hot guys.

Have I told you that there is something else I really hate about YA? That YA includes stuff like you'd find in those teen-boy-borderline-soft-porn type magazines as an integral component of the genre. And it's perfectly okay to objectify boys in YA. Try getting away with pulling that off on "girls," and you'll be labeled as some kind of creep.

Um... yeah... I know a lot of YA authors who also happen to be guys. Maybe we should start a blog and discuss hot chicks in YA -- and what makes them so "hot."

Kind of tasteless. Not worth my time as a writer.

Most of all, I'm happy that my daughter's taste in YA steers her away from the vapid and empty stories about scoring the clueless dumb boy (who happens to also be hot). And I've got some really cool books for her to read that will be coming out later this year, too.

I've written plenty about boys and reading, but I think I should make a comment or two (as a father of a teen girl) about the girls, too -- that books which objectify boys as serving no purpose beyond providing the soothing quality of hotness also do a disservice to girls, by making them equate their own value with their ability to score with one.

Good YA will always empower kids and expand their perspective.

That is all.

My daughter is away today, volunteering her time at a charity race. She's a great kid.