Sunday, March 06, 2011

Cross-Blog Pollination

While taking a childrens' and young adult literature class this summer, I decided to move most of my reviews of young adult books to a new blog, Second Childhood Reviews.  Unlike many bloggers who focus on young adult books, mine is dirently aimed at teachers and parents who want to read high-quality literature with their students/children.  That said, occasionally there will be a book that I think deserves a wider audience than my second blog, a book that has merit not just as a good read for young adults but as a good read for anyone.  The Hunger Games trilogy is probably the best example of this.

In this case, it is not so much that I think that the book I am going to mention is such a great adult read (though I enjoyed it very much-it's laugh-out-loud funny in multiple spots), but that the message of the book is one that adults need to hear.  The book is The Misfits, by James Howe.  Howe wrote the very popular Bunnicula series-he also came out as a gay man in the early part of the new century.  In The Misfits, and it's companion book Totally Joe, Howe highlights the problem of name-calling and bullying in middle school.  While the theme itself may not be groundbreaking, his inclusion of an openly gay character is, especially in a book aimed at children aged 10 to 13.  After researching queer themes in children's and young adult literature for a project for the above-mentioned children's/young adult lit class, I can tell you that while there are several good picture books for young children about families with same-sex parents, and there are more and more young adult novels for high schoolers on issues of sexual orientation, coming out, and first love with gay characters, there is almost nothing for students in the middle grades.  So here I am, on my "grown-up" blog, strongly urging anyone who has, knows, works with, or cares about kids in the middle grades to read and share this book!  And here is the link to my review of The Misfits, along with a list of online resources for teaching about the book.

1 comment:

Penny for your thoughts...