Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Children/YA FlipFlop

In the golden olden days before Innovative and before my own part-time freelance job picked up, I read children's books. I loved kid lit, and loved recommending great new kids books to other people. I read Charlie Bone, Kate DiCamillo (love her!), Pendergasts, knew most of the late Newbery winners and again, had read most of them. Except for Kira-Kira. I couldn't get into it. All of us writers were raised on some form of children's literature or another, be it Star Wars books or Louisa May Alcott.

Now, I read mostly YA because

a) I'm a dorky teen

b) I like to search for new authors to interview here

c)... I like the genre.

Young adult is usually characterized by somewhat deeper themes, no guarantee of a happy ending, characters struggling with moral or cosmic problems, and poignancy. Granted, there are a lot of fluffy young adult books out there and I must admit, I enjoy a lot of them. [Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian was a hoot (my personal favorite fluffy author.)] But that is normal YA.

So I picked up a children's book the other day, just for kicks-- The Mysterious Case of Allbright Academy by Diane Stanley. It was a lot of fun! But I laughed at myself because I'm reading this and I'm thinking... where's the self-reflective character? where's the backstabbing and painful heartbreak?

WAIT! This is kid lit!

I had also picked up The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, the latest from the legendary E. L. Konigsburg. Personally, I think her books are misclassified. They should be filed under young Young Adult.

Anyway, I'm hoping to write more about teens writing for younger children, and to also interview some children's authors. Because kid lit is, you know, awesome.

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