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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Welcome, SLJ Readers

Or, rather, those readers who are coming over having read Rocco Staino’s SLJ article, Walter Dean Myers’s Appointment as Ambassador for YA Lit Stirs Controversy, where I was quoted.

Those of you who haven’t read Rocco’s article yet, go, read, I’ll be here with my cup of coffee waiting.

Right. So that happened.

Part of me wants to talk about the article Rocco links to. Part of me doesn’t, because I think words like “insipid,” (as in the article) and then tweets like “Walter Dean Myers is not good for our children” and that Myers “pander[s] to black children with ghetto stories” (see Bookshelves of Doom for the links to some of the follow up tweets by the author) are done just to get people riled up, to get clicks and followers and comments. And I don’t want to do that.  So, instead, in typical fashion I try to have my cake and eat it, too: I link to those who have linked, so yes, it does add to the clicks but it doesn’t add to the links.

Buried within the attack on Myers’s books and appointment (“it’s shameful” is another tweet by the article’s author, found via Bookshelves), there is the question of teaching classics in the classroom. Which, of course, has nothing to do with being an Ambassador for Literature, pleasure reading, reading on one’s own, or reading the classics.

If you want to talk about classics and kids and classrooms, and ways to do it that doesn’t turn kids into haters of the classics, I suggest heading over to Monica Edinger’s blog Educating Alice and reading her post, Teaching Kids, Books, and the Classics. Or, go to Bookshelves’s post Soo… about this, where the discussion is very respectful even as people disagree.

About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is