Hooray for Banned Books


Hooray for Banned Books

By Natalie Bright

Children’s Literature celebrated Banned Books Week Sept. 21-27. Hooray for that because I’ve discovered many wonderful books from these types of lists. Take for example the news that a large school district in Texas has banned The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Written in first-person “diary” format, it’s the inner thoughts of a teen so it’s raw, realistic, inappropriate; just like teenagers. The main character faces bullies, alcoholic parents, racism, abusive adults, sex, cuss words; just like life.

It’s written for YA (young adult) audience which means this is a story for older teenagers. As the mother of two teenaged boys, I absolutely believe in the power of parents to control the materials our children have access to. (What parent hasn’t cringed at the mention of internet?) I understand how inappropriate teenagers can be and how shocking some of their questions are, but they’re also funny, charming, and crazy smart. Kids today continually amaze me. It doesn’t mean every teenager is into any of the topics covered in a YA novel. Sherman Alexie’s book doesn’t promote a certain kind of life style. These topics exist in our world, in a teens world. This book is for high school aged teens and, in my opinion, should not be in grade school or Jr. High libraries.

Based on the author’s own experiences, THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN is about a main character who leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white high school 22 miles away. It’s a story about following your dreams, finding acceptance, facing adversity, and coming through as a winner. It’s a story with loads of HEART. I loved this book.

Opinions are subjective. For as many people who hate a book, you’ll find just as many who love it. I’ve discovered so many wonderful stories through these kinds of lists, so hooray for banned books! Let’s work together to promote the joys and privilege of reading a great story. Let’s broaden the world view for our children and open the dialogue. Let’s do more talking, reading, learning, and less judging.

Writers Take Action:

1) Post an online review of one of your favorite stories from childhood. Ask your kids what’s one of their favorites. Post an online review of that book too. By promoting each others work, we’re also promoting the joys of reading.

2) Choose one book from a Banned Books List and read it.

nataliebright.com

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Stories of Our Youth


Stories of Our Youth

By Rory C. Keel

The Young Adult Genre is comprised of works written for the age group between twelve and eighteen, according to the Young Adult Library Service association (YALSA), which is a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

While written for a young audience, many adults also enjoy young adult stories and adventures. The protagonist as well as most of the main characters will usually be close in age, and the stories may deal with any social topic or subject that allows the character to deal with an inner struggle. The young adult genre will show the main character growing as they work to learn important life lessons.

Sub-genres include stories that fall into most other genres such as fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, science-fiction, historical and adventure, with a writing style that appeals to a younger audience.

It has been many years since my childhood, yet even today many of my favorite books are still those from my youth.

roryckeel.com

Stories of Our Youth


Stories of Our Youth

The Young Adult Genre is comprised of works written for the age group between twelve and eighteen, according to the Young Adult Library Service association (YALSA), which is a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

While written for a young audience, many adults also enjoy young adult stories and adventures. The protagonist as well as most of the main characters will usually be close in age, and the stories may deal with any social topic or subject that allows the character to deal with an inner struggle. The young adult genre will show the main character growing as they work to learn important life lessons.

Sub-genres include stories that fall into most other genres such as fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, science-fiction, historical and adventure, with a writing style that appeals to a younger audience.

It has been many years since my childhood, yet even today many of my favorite books are still those from my youth.

Rory C. Keel

roryckeel.com

Word Count


Word Count

By Rory C. Keel

 

As writers, it’s easy to become absorbed in our writing. We are the defenders of our plot and characters, sometimes to a fault. We create new worlds and imaginary realms where the impossible becomes possible, where truth and justice prevail and love conquers all.

But then there’s reality.

When we pitch our project to an agent or publisher one of the first questions asked is, “What is the word count?” As the writer it may not matter, after all, it’s the story that counts, right? However in publishing it means Money.

It is estimated that for every 10,000 words over the stated guideline of a publisher, it could equate to a ten percent increase in publishing costs.

While researching word counts for my writing projects, I have found the following basic word counts to be a standard measure in the industry.

Chapter book (6-8 yr.) 5-25,000 words

Middle reader (8-12 yr.) 25-40,000 words

Young adult (12-18 yr.) 40-75,000 words

Novelette 7,500-20,000 words

Novella 20-30,000 words

Short Contemporary 50,000-60,000 words

Long Contemporary 70,000-80,000 words

Short Historical/ Mainstream 90,000-100,000 words

Romance novel 90,000-100,000 words

Long Historical/Mainstream 108,000-120,000

Remember, these are averages and the submission guidelines for your particular agent or publisher should be the final say.

Stories of Our Youth


Stories of Our Youth

The Young Adult Genre is comprised of works written for the age group between twelve and eighteen, according to the Young Adult Library Service association (YALSA), which is a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

While written for a young audience, many adults also enjoy young adult stories and adventures. The protagonist as well as most of the main characters will usually be close in age, and the stories may deal with any social topic or subject that allows the character to deal with an inner struggle. The young adult genre will show the main character growing as they work to learn important life lessons.

Sub-genres include stories that fall into most other genres such as fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, science-fiction, historical and adventure, with a writing style that appeals to a younger audience.

It has been many years since my childhood, yet even today many of my favorite books are still those from my youth.

Rory C. Keel