Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Cindy and Lynn: Recently on YALSA-BK listserv there was a request for suggestions from a librarian who wanted a list of “Clean Vampire” novels. Now, we appreciate the efforts to satiate the Stephenie Meyer Twilight fans and are working hard to do that ourselves, but really, clean vampire stories? It’s our feeling that if you don’t want blood and sex in your vampire story, you really don’t want a vampire story. I mean, since zombies are the new vampire this spring, what’s next? Requests for zombie stories without the dead?
This request brought back the memory of the 6th grade girl last year who asked Cindy for a Holocaust book. After a brief readers advisory interview that narrowed down her choice to a novel over non-fiction or biography, we were scrolling through the catalog reading the summaries of the fictional titles when the girl stopped and said, “These all seem so sad. Do you have any happy Holocaust books?” It’s times like these that strain the self control of even the best librarian, but it is important not to laugh at young patrons–at least not in front of them. Publishers, authors and editors ought to delight in the knowledge that there’s a whole new market to explore with happy Holocaust titles.
And this week, Cindy learned that her 7th grade English Language Arts classes were working on an assignment to go with their study of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. One of the teachers tells me that the students are writing MODERN ANCIENT myths. We are surrounded by oxymoron lists and we bet you have more to add. We want to hear from you. Submit your best Oxymoron Booklist! We can’t wait to see what you come up with! (George Carlin, we miss you–and your “wicked good” sense of humor!)