The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


Things May Be Slowing Down A Bit

You may have noticed I haven't posted as many reviews lately. That's because I'm going full throttle (finally) on writing my new book and I tend to not read as much when I'm writing.

I do hope to have some guest bloggers throughout the summer, however, and if you would like to be one of them, please email me at

In the meantime, I'd like to share an article about YA literature that was published in the Wall Street Journal last week. Since it featured "13 Reasons Why" (see my review here) I thought it was worth posting.

Also worth sharing is a letter to the editor in response by Lisa Von Drasek (Children's Librarian, Bank Street, Library of Education, New York):

"Although I was thrilled to see a full-page article on young-adult books ("It Was, Like, All Dark and Stormy," Weekend Journal, June 6), I am sorry that it misses the point.

The waters of adolescence are dark and stormy. The issues of eating disorders, cutting, depression and, yes, suicide are present in what looks on the outside to be the most normal, typical teen. The gift of literature is the ability of the author to let us into the thoughts and point of view of the characters.

You lost an opportunity to do a deeper reading. "If I Stay" isn't just another dead-girl book; it is about exploring who we are, how we define our family and how we are connected to our community.

"Wintergirls" isn't a how-to manual on eating disorders, but examines the downward spiral of addictive behavior as family and friends watch helplessly from the sidelines. "Hunger Games" isn't just a dystopic fantasy of teens battling each other to the death but an examination of materialism, celebrity culture and the world-wide gap in access to resources like food, health and education.

Contrary to your statement that librarians "want to keep the book off the shelves," librarians are on the forefront of buying these books, writing and talking about them and handing them to teens. The shelves of the young-adult section of the library are packed with a variety of materials: the supernatural romance of "Twilight," the comic response to that in the "Reformed Vampire Support Group," the thoughtful contemporary fiction of Sarah Dessen and the award winning coming-of-age novels of Sherman Alexie."

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