The YA Roundup: The YA Shame

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Welcome to the YA Roundup, giving you the inside scoop on bookish news, book deals, new releases and cover reveals for the YA genre!

This week covers Richard Dawkins’ fairy tales, Thailand protestors inspired by The Hunger Games, some literary snob-trolling, and a new trailer for The Giver!

Richard Dawkins Likes Big Fairy Stories, And he Cannot Lie

Richard Dawkins

In, perhaps, one of the most ridiculous literary scandals to encompass 2014, Richard Dawkins has been forced to clarify his position on fairy tales for children.

At the Cheltenham Science Festival, Richard Dawkins was said to have claimed that fairy tales fostered a lack of critical thinking in children. The telegraph claims the following quote is from Dawkins:

“Is it a good thing to go along with the fantasies of childhood, magical as they are? Or should we be fostering a spirit of scepticism?”

The report preceded a flurry of furious commenters. Lauren Child, author of the Charlie and Lola series was one of those to lash out at the claims.

“I don’t think they are anything to do with supernaturalism—’m sure he [Dawkins] must know that. It’s about a way of working things out. Children are always using the imaginary to work things out. Fairy stories are not so much about the magic, they are about figuring out the world.”

Dawkins refuted the claims, saying that:

“What I actually think is that fairy tales can be wonderful. They are part of childhood, they are stretching the imagination of children…I wouldn’t mind being cast as a big bad wolf, but I don’t like being cast as a Gradgrindian bore. Because I love the imagination.”

So there you have it. Dawkins doesn’t disapprove of fairy stories and the world can keep on spinning. You can stop burning your children’s fairy tales now.

 

If you Read YA, You Should be Embarrassed

Slate MagazineAccording to Slate writer Ruth Graham, we are all filthy literature plebeians who need to start reading literary fiction instead of that children’s stuff.

Speculative crime fiction is also a no-no and science fiction readers, she’s probably coming for you next. Likely spurred by The Fault in Our Stars movie premiering this week, she writes:

“The once-unseemly notion that it’s acceptable for not-young adults to read young-adult fiction is now conventional wisdom. Today, grown-ups brandish their copies of teen novels with pride. There are endless lists of YA novels that adults should read, an “I read YA” campaign for grown-up YA fans, and confessional posts by adult YA addicts.”

Oh no! Hide your children! There be adults reading YA!

Today’s YA, we are constantly reminded, is worldly and adult-worthy. That has kept me bashful about expressing my own fuddy-duddy opinion: Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children.

Well, colour me piqued. Please wow me with the selection of Young Adult fiction you have read to form this opinion.

“Let’s set aside the transparently trashy stuff like Divergent and Twilight, which no one defends as serious literature. […] I’m a reader who did not weep, contra every article ever written about the book, when I read The Fault in Our Stars.”

See, I knew The Fault in Our Stars was evil. One read through and hard-and-fast literary snobs immediately decide they know YA. Much like I once ate some aged cheddar and now I know cheese.

A round of slow-clap for Ruth Graham, guys. Not that she can hear you over the sound of how many proper literary books she’s reading.

 

New Trailer for The Giver

After the furor the first trailer unleashed for lacking the black and white motif of the book, a featurette and now a second trailer have been released, showcasing the use of colour in the movie.

This trailer features more of award-winning actress, Meryl Streep in her role as Chief Elder.

 

Thailand Adopts Three-Finger Salute

As a result of the recent military coup in Thailand, protestors are adopting the Hunger Games’ symbol of rebellion, the Three Finger Salute. Personally, I’ve been giving the coup the one-finger salute, but I like the protestor’s style better.

Whatever you have to do to protest for your fundamental human rights, you do. Still, the protest could land you in the back of a cop car at best.

A spokesman for the Junta claims:

“If a single individual raises three fingers in the air, we are not going to arrest him or her. But if it is a political gathering of five people or more, then we will have to take some action.”

Jonathan Jones from The Guardian had this to say about the gesture:

“When the best political imagery available comes from a corny series of paranoid science fiction films that are retro-1970s science fiction at best, and vacuous adolescent fantasy at worst, there is something missing.”

Well, dude, when your country is seized by a violent and oppressive military coup, then you can come up with whatever symbol you want to represent your rebellion, ’kay?

 

New York Times Best Sellers (June 15, 2014)

Young Adult

  1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  3. Paper Towns by John Green
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  6. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs

Children’s Series

  1. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  4. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  5. Magic Tree House by Mary Pope
  6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  8. Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
  9. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

 

Book Deals

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rights: North American
Agent: Jill Corcoran (Jill Corcoran Literary Agency)

A retelling of the Brothers Grimm fantasy “The Singing Bone,” in which hunters compete to kill a great beast and win the hand of the princess.

Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rights: North American
Agent: Jill Corcoran (Jill Corcoran Literary Agency)

A companion novel to the Sweet Evil trilogy told from the point of view of the love interest, Kaidan Rowe.

Grey by Christi J. Whitney
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication: First book of three set for spring 2015
Rights: World
Agent: Jill Corcoran (Jill Corcoran Literary Agency)

In the story, a secretive clan of gypsies pull 18-year-old Sebastian into a world of secrets, tales of gargoyles, and a destiny he cannot escape.

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication: Spring 2016
Rights: World English
Agent: Steve Malk (Writers House)

It stars a fierce 16-year-old thief and spy struggling to survive in a world infused with more magic, malice, and mayhem than she ever imagined.

I’m with Cupid by Anna Staniszewski
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: Summer 2016
Rights: World English
Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette (Erin Murphy Literary Agency)

The new series, Heart and Souls, kicks off when a teen cupid and a teen reaper are dared to kiss at a party and accidentally end up swapping powers.

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication: Summer 2016
Rights: North American
Agent: Josh Adams (Adams Literary)

Pitched as Friday Night Lights meets Rosemary’s Baby, it’s the story of 17 year-old former football star Clay Tate, who, as the one-year anniversary of a horrific slaughter approaches, is forced to come to terms with his family’s—and his rural Oklahoma town’s—role in a plot to deliver Satan back to earth.

Source: Publishers’ Weekly

 

New Releases

 

Cover Reveals

 


Kat Kennedy and Stephanie Sinclair are the bloggers behind Cuddlebuggery, the Young Adult book blog dedicated to corrupting the reading community with sinister shenanigans.

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