YA, MG, Seriously discussion

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message 1: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
I am going to tell you all about myself but I don't quite have time now, being about to catch a plane from Mission, Texas where I have been speaking at a butterfly conference and then to Tucson, AZ and then on to San Francisco. I am a published writer, mostly of adult nonfiction in the field of nature and science. But my first love is children's literature, reading and writing. I want to use this group to explore this genre more. I want to see people talking about why they are drawn to reading young adult and middle grade. I want to celebrate.


message 2: by Shelley (new)

Shelley Muniz (shelleymuniz) | 21 comments I have written an published one memoir titled Eagle Feathers and Angel Wings: Micah's Story. I have also published several short stories in different anthologies. Like Sharman, I love children's literature. I have a large collection of children's picture books as well. I love the idea behind this group and am anxious to participate!


message 3: by Joanna (new)

Joanna Leona (joannabranson_author) I am a working writer, college instructor, and YA historical fiction author. I have several fiction projects which I plan on self-publishing/e-publishing between now and summertime (2015). I LOVE reading YA fiction and am excited to see it growing in recognition in the traditional publishing world.


message 4: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey (themadrhetorician) | 1 comments Hello! I am a college English instructor at a small liberal arts/teacher's college in the midwest. I am a voracious reader, and love many many genres including YA. My favorite YA authors are Laurie Halse Anderson and Chris Crutcher. I look forward to participating as much as time and my job will allow me to in the group, and learning about new books I should read.


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 1 comments I am a former student of Sharman's. I write fiction, some creative non-fiction, and have recently started to write scripts. This invitation hit my inbox at exactly the right time. I'm writing a novel (possibly a series) that my daughter will be illustrating, about a young girl who learns her mother is actually a pirate. I'm not sure whether it's YA, MG, or some other classification of fiction. I look forward to clarifying exactly what qualifies as which in this group.


message 6: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Joanna wrote: "I am a working writer, college instructor, and YA historical fiction author. I have several fiction projects which I plan on self-publishing/e-publishing between now and summertime (2015). I LOVE r..."

Lindsey wrote: "Hello! I am a college English instructor at a small liberal arts/teacher's college in the midwest. I am a voracious reader, and love many many genres including YA. My favorite YA authors are Laurie..."

Shelley wrote: "I have written an published one memoir titled Eagle Feathers and Angel Wings: Micah's Story. I have also published several short stories in different anthologies. Like Sharman, I love children's ..."

Amanda wrote: "I am a former student of Sharman's. I write fiction, some creative non-fiction, and have recently started to write scripts. This invitation hit my inbox at exactly the right time. I'm writing a nov..."

Shelley wrote: "I have written an published one memoir titled Eagle Feathers and Angel Wings: Micah's Story. I have also published several short stories in different anthologies. Like Sharman, I love children's ..."

Welcome, everyone! How neat to see you here. Hello, Amanda! It's intriguing and perfectly natural to me how many of us who fell in love with reading children's literature also now write children's literature. I have spent my life engaged with story and--this will sound odd, I think--I feel ready, more and more, to actually think about that. But that's for the writing discussion!


message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (flywriter) | 5 comments I'm also a former student of Sharman's just on the brink of graduating from WNMU's MA/Interdisciplinary Studies program, and so very excited to take my first trip to Silver City in December!

I've been working on a YA fantasy novel (a little bit of time distortion, a whole lot of quantum pseudo-science in lieu of magic) in my spare time, and hope to self-publish it somewhere, somehow, soon!


message 8: by Tyler (new)

Tyler (connoley) | 4 comments I'm a voracious reader -- mostly Audible, but dead-tree and Kindle as well. I'm also a sporadic writer with some publications under my belt, and a regular storyteller who loves crafting a good story.

Some of my earliest memories of reading are of lying on the floor while my sister sat in the chair above me with her legs dangling over the armrest and read to me. We read all the Chronicles of Narnia, the Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the Anne of Green Gables books that way. We also read three books that completely enthralled me and captured my imagination: The Hobbit, Treasure Island, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I think that's where my love of fantasy, adventure, and science fiction began.


message 9: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Alisa! Tyler! How neat to see you here.


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 19, 2014 05:49AM) (new)

I am a student until December 12. On that date I will be graduating with my Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with focuses in Counseling and Social Work. My first love is Philosophy, however, and it was in a philosophy class (Writing the Philosophical Reflection) that I took for my undergraduate studies that I first read one of Sharman's books, Standing in the Light.

I have always been an avid reader, gaining the most points and personal pan pizzas in the summer reading programs as a kid. I have always wanted to be a writer, have been told I'm good, but have never ventured into that world for publication. I love children's literature and young adult works mostly because they don't have a lot of the fluff that can be found in adult books.


message 11: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Amber, good to see you here! That's an interesting comment--the fluff in adult books. C.S. Lewis also wrote that one of the many reasons he chose the children's fantasy form is that it forced him to be concise and to the point. (He also liked that the form he chose didn't include romantic love, which he didn't want to write about, and had certain conventions like talking animals that he could just use and not invent.) The thing with writing, in my experience, is to just write for years and years and not worry about publishing at all at first. Especially these days! The dust is still settling. It's all in transition.


message 12: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Shandre, welcome to the book club!


message 13: by Lillian (new)

Lillian (trgllylibrarian) | 2 comments Hi, I'm a librarian at the Silver City Public Library. I manage activities for youth ages 10 and up, as well as adults. I've grown up with young adult literature and continue to find it the most enjoyable type of fiction to read. I try to read as widely as possible, considering the wide range of community members I serve, but YA reading is the most fun to follow.


message 14: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Lillian wrote: "Hi, I'm a librarian at the Silver City Public Library. I manage activities for youth ages 10 and up, as well as adults. I've grown up with young adult literature and continue to find it the most en..."

Welcome, Lillian. I have to agree: YA is fun to follow. I feel like I'm playing a bit of catch-up, with so many YA books to read, but I think that's partly because I'm a busy adult now and don't have the time to gulp down books like I use to. That's partly why I keep teaching the writing of children's literature. It makes reading YA part of my professional life--like you!


message 15: by Karen (new)

Karen Weiseman muller | 2 comments Hello! I am just joining your group, and my name is Karen. I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination. I love to read YA novels, and I am a fan of literary fiction, contemporary fiction, and women's lit especially when focused on young adults. I also help out a YA author with book promotions, and such. I am looking forward to being part of this group.


message 16: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Karen, welcome!


message 17: by Leah (new)

Leah Hi all,

I am a library associate in a branch library in Oklahoma. I mostly do youth services, from storytimes on up to teen services. I'm currently in a Master's program for library services, and should be finished after Summer 2015. I also run a YA lit book club in the Tulsa area. I read a LOT of YA lit, some middle school, and some juvenile. It looks like this group has some really great discussions, so I'm glad to be joining in :)


message 18: by Carol (new)

Carol Brill (goodreadscomuser_carolbrill) Hi all, I'm a writer, adult educator and coach. Also an avid reader and fan of women's and YA. I'm the author of two novels, CAPE MAYBE Cape Maybe by Carol Fragale Brill and Peace by Piece by Carol Fragale Brill

I live in South Jersey near beautiful, Victorian, seaside Cape May and look forward to getting to know you and your reading taste. carol


message 19: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hello, Leah and Carol, and welcome! Sharman


message 20: by Emma (new)

Emma Hi everyone! I am an undergraduate student at a medium liberal arts university in North Carolina. I have always loved YA literature, but YA fantasy in particular. This past year I finished National Novel Writing Month for the fifth year in a row. Writing is a passion for me and I can't wait to talk about YA literature with others who love it as well. I am very interested in discussing where the lines for YA and adult fiction are drawn, as the last couple novels I have written could be marketed to either genre with a few changes.


message 21: by Sharman (last edited Jan 07, 2015 10:04AM) (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Emma, welcome and, yes, what are those lines? We are still defining and discovering. And by "we" I include publishers and readers and people who market books. I still have to think about this more but my initial thought is that it is first the writer who has to look inside and think about his/her intentions and understanding of YA conventions and the YA audience and make the final decision. I liked your comment re The Kingdom of Little Wounds!


message 22: by Carol (new)

Carol Brill (goodreadscomuser_carolbrill) I'm interested in "those lines" between YA and other, too.
I find some assume a story told from the POV of an adolescent is automatically YA. Sometimes those stories are so richly textured, think "The Lovely Bones," or "Secret Life of Bees." They fit women's lit just as well, or better to me.


message 23: by Julia (new)

Julia | 11 comments Thanks for the invitation Sharman!

I like reading YA books because I am a special education teacher and most of the kids I've taught haven't found a way to enjoy reading, yet. If I can interest them in good books, then wow! But I haven't been a teacher for awhile. I read a lot, nearly all of it in dead tree books.

I like YA books because they get right to the point, usually. I like YA books because they are fun, most of the time.

I am working on a novel, which may be YA, but is definitely odd and I will work to publish something this year.

I live in rural Upstate New York, now, but have also lived in LA and San Francisco.


message 24: by Lauren (last edited Jan 09, 2015 03:42PM) (new)

Lauren Stoolfire Hello, I'm Lauren, a reader and reviewer from central Ohio. I love fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and YA.


message 25: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hello, Lauren and Julia. Welcome! Julia's post of why she likes YA books (they get to the point) reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said of why he writes fantasy for middle-grade: “I am not quite sure what made me in a particular year of my life feel that not only a fairy tale but a fairy tale addressed to children was exactly what I must write or burst. Partly I think that this form permits or compels you to leave out things I wanted to leave out. It compels you to throw all the force of the book into what was done and said. It checks what a kind but discerning critic called the expository demon in me. It also imposes certain very fruitful necessities about length.”


message 26: by Angela (new)

Angela C | 8 comments Hi everyone! I'm a business analyst in the electricity industry by day, book blogger by night. I'll read just about any kind of YA fiction, but I'm especially fond of fairy tale retellings thanks to authors like Robin McKinley and Donna Jo Napoli. I also really enjoy books with clever, mischievous protagonists, like Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer and The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.


message 27: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Angela. I haven't read Bloody Jack yet but remember how much I enjoyed The Queen's Thief series!


message 28: by Janelle (new)

Janelle Anderson (Pikareader) | 13 comments Hi, professor it's Janelle from your Children's Literature class! I just joined and am loving this website. I have been an avid user of this site for reviews for years but this class has pushed me to finally register and get deeper into it. Right now I am reading Holes as well as a romance novel on the side. I also find a lot of interesting fantasy books that were recommended when I registered. I had no idea there were so many good ones.


message 29: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Janelle! Great to see you here!


message 30: by Brian (new)

Brian Kindall | 3 comments Hello, I am a writer specializing in middle-grade novels and I am thrilled by the concept of this group. You're just what I've been looking for - people who share my passion and respect for the genre. I'm excited to hear what everyone has to say. I live far from the madding crowd, in the mountains of Central Idaho, and so this is a great way for me to reach out to the world and see what everyone is thinking. I came to middle grade books a few years ago by way of reading to my kids. Before that I would never have deigned to such a low form. But then I started reading and fell in love with the genuine voices, the wonderful characters, and the integrity of middle grade books. There's a sincerity in the best ones that I just don't find in adult novels. That's what I strive for in my own writing, however humble the results. I like books that are artful, but don't forget to tell a good story. Thanks of being here.


message 31: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Brian, welcome! I am particularly interested, too, in what distinguishes middle grade literature from young adult literature. My publisher recently asked if they could label manuscript of mine YA when I had written it as MG--and I just had to say no, even though it meant they were less interested in publishing it. There just are distinctions. Of course, too, my character was a sixth-grader. But age is just one distinction.


message 32: by Mark (new)

Mark | 5 comments Hello all,

I spent nearly my entire academic career studying American postmodern literature (the likes of Pynchon, DeLillo, etc.) and literary theory (almost too much of that, if you ask me).

After graduating with my master's in English, I found a job in editing, which I now do every day.

I supplant the sometimes mundane nature of my job with a lot of reading, and since graduating, have read almost exclusively young adult literature. I can't tell you what it is about the genre, but I find it incredibly inviting, diverse, entertaining, thought provoking, and just about every good adjective you can give to a genre. Ultimately, I think that what is being written in the "YA genre" is simply some of the best stuff being written right now. I love discussing young adult books, introducing people who may normally be turned off by the name (why would an adult want to read books written for teenagers, anyway?), to books that are really just incredible and often heart-wrenching, and ultimately just immersing myself in the world that is young adult literature.

If you're looking for recommendations, book discussions, talks about theory, or whatever, I'd be glad to make your acquaintance.


message 33: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Mark--yes, YA is inviting. That's a nice word to use!


message 34: by Kathrina (new)

Kathrina | 1 comments Hi, all. Sharman, thanks for inviting me to the group! I am a PhD student in Language, Literacy and Culture at the University of Iowa. I have an MLIS (library science) and was a bookstore manager for over a decade. My academic focus is in library service and literacy practice in prisons. I read all genres, try to keep my feet wet in ya and titles that might interest adult low-fluency readers. While I'm in classes, I'm up to my eyeballs in theory (let's talk, Mark), critical discourse, qualitative studies, etc. Sometimes I sneak a break for leisure reading, and ya usually fits the bill.


message 35: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Welcome, Kathrina. What a wonderful title for a doctorate. I hope you expose us all to some theory in these discussions! Especially if you can make it come alive for me in regards to a specific book. That's not easy, I know...but it would be an accomplishment. And good practice?


message 36: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (wagsawayreviews) | 5 comments Hello all. My name is Rachel, I am fairly new to world of YA, but I look forward to discussing these books with you.

For almost 10 years I have worked for the Oakville Public Library, and will actually be leaving in September to attend the Master of Library and Information Studies program at Western University. Thanks to my job at the library, I always come across new books that I want to read, and so the pile grows instead of shrinking. In a desire to share many of these masterpieces of the written word, and even of the visual arts, with others, I started to review them. Two years ago these reviews were rather small, but they expanded as I learned. Now, I even have the distinct pleasure of writing for School Library Journal, something which constantly challenges me to improve my writing.

Currently I read a lot of Fantasy, Graphica, and Picture Books, however I have been trying to expand into Children's Literature and YA. Some of my favourites from these age groups include: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester, and Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series.


message 37: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Welcome, Rachel. I really loved The Graveyard Book. And I'll put those others on my list, which is now growing and growing, too.


message 38: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Kahn | 1 comments Hi, I'm somewhat new to this interesting group and just noticed this thread. I worked as school librarian in a K - 8 school for ten years before moving to a 5 - 8 grade middle school in 2008. I miss the littlies and keeping up with picture books (I try); however, I don't miss 9 preps a week and switching my personality on a dime when a kindergarten class followed an eighth grade class. :-) There are two distinct teacher modes to master. I also blog about some of the books I read and review for SLJ and abookandahug.com and occasionally for ALAN Picks.


message 39: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Hi, Brenda, and welcome, too. Public school teachers--and nurses and librarians and administrators--have always been my heroes. My first short story for adults was about a public school teacher. Much later I was eight years on our local school board. My daughter went into public school teaching, third-grade...but this is kind of sad: the educational system, at least where she worked, seemed so broken...she left after three years. It was all kind of heartbreaking. I am still an adoring fan of those who work with our children under increasingly difficult conditions.


message 40: by Janelle (new)

Janelle Anderson (Pikareader) | 13 comments Sharman wrote: "Hi, Janelle! Great to see you here!"

Thank you. I am browsing through another Young Adult book to read in comparison to the Book Thief book and I think I found a few at my local library I may give a try. It is so exciting going through all the different books. Being so into romance and fantasy books for a while the young adult sections was a bit daunting.


message 41: by Alessandra (new)

Alessandra (chibisuke) Hello all,
My name is Alessandra and reading is one of my biggest passions. I mostly read YA as it's the genre I found myself enjoying the most after a stressful day of work. I also like Thrillers/Crimes.
Thank you very much for inviting me, Sharman. I hardly join any groups, but this one looks very interesting!


message 42: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Welcome, Zoie and Alessandra, good to see you here.


message 43: by Jean (new)

Jean (simbelmyn) | 1 comments Hello, all! :D I'm Jean, avid reader and reviewer, lover of fantasy and science fiction!


message 44: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicareadsthings) | 1 comments Hi all,

I'm Jessica, and I'm a cataloger at a public library. I'm in a bit of a YA slump right now, and I'm hoping this group will help bring me out of it! Looking forward to participating!


message 45: by Anne Marie (new)

Anne Marie (am_chow) | 3 comments Lindsey wrote: "Hello! I am a college English instructor at a small liberal arts/teacher's college in the midwest. I am a voracious reader, and love many many genres including YA. My favorite YA authors are Laurie..."

I just got to spend the weekend with Chris Crutcher while he was in Asia! I loved listening to him speak and visiting with him! Now, I can't wait to read his books!


message 46: by Anne Marie (new)

Anne Marie (am_chow) | 3 comments Hello all!

I'm Anne Marie. I teach grade 7 and 8 English and am the Middle School Literacy Coach at my school - United World College South East Asia, in Singapore. I love reading what my kids are reading and being able to discuss books with them. Like someone else said already here, it is such a pleasure to be part of a child's change as they find the right book and fall in love with reading.


message 47: by BookCupid (new)

BookCupid | 3 comments Hi, I'm Natalia and a YA lover. I run a blog called BookCupid that focuses on Ya and MG. I've also published an NA short story with Curiosity Quills. Nice to meet you all.


message 48: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Hello, all! :D I'm Jean, avid reader and reviewer, lover of fantasy and science fiction!"

Welcome!


message 49: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Anne Marie wrote: "Hello all!

I'm Anne Marie. I teach grade 7 and 8 English and am the Middle School Literacy Coach at my school - United World College South East Asia, in Singapore. I love reading what my kids are ..."


I really love that Goodreads brings us together from around the world.


message 50: by Sharman (new)

Sharman Russell (sharmanaptrussell) | 212 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "Hi all,

I'm Jessica, and I'm a cataloger at a public library. I'm in a bit of a YA slump right now, and I'm hoping this group will help bring me out of it! Looking forward to participating!"


I've gotten some good recommendations from the discussion What are you in love with now...


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