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

Round 3, Match 1

My prediction: “Boxers & Saints v Far Far Away, Judge Patrick Ness. I’m putting my money on Far Far Away.

What it was: Boxers and Saints vs Far Far Away! YAY.

What advanced: Boxers and Saints. BOO.

BoB 2014 RND3 1 Round 3, Match 1

I am not booing Ness’s decision; no, I’m booing myself and luck in that I didn’t guess the right title.

Ah, well.

Even if I were giving a boo to Ness, based on his judgment, I think he’d be able to take it — after all, he can dish it out.

Boy, can he dish it out.

But I actually got sidetracked by something that really didn’t have to do with the decision. Rather, it was Ness’s assertion that the young adult books of his adolescence weren’t good: “I, like so many others my age, tended to skip teenage fiction altogether and go straight to Stephen King for one simple reason:  Judy Blume aside (and God bless her forever and forever), most of the rest of it lied.

And it goes on, and all I can think, is — huh.

I know, I know, I know — it’s the golden age of YA. But just because there is a lot of terrific YA books now, doesn’t mean that there weren’t terrific books then.

Just because the books weren’t in your library or bookstore, didn’t mean they weren’t in mine, or others.

Just because you didn’t know about them, didn’t mean they weren’t there.

Just because you didn’t want to read them, didn’t mean they weren’t read and loved by others, and that, yes, they meant something to others.

Norma Klein, Julian Thompson, Janine Boissard, to name just a few. Check out Lizzie Skurnick’s imprint at Ig Publishing for more.

I get it, I get it: not everyone found these books, or liked these books. But…they were there. And they pushed boundaries: having sex without being in love, parents wanting unruly children dead. Just to name a few.

Sorry to go so far off topic, and to react to a bit of a minor part of the review, but this is one of my buttons!

Topic: one other thing. Boxers & Saints, which is two volumes, is talked about as one book. Not two. Which I’ll be writing more about later!

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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 lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Katy says:

    They didn’t exist in my small town library when I was a kid, and the school library basically had books to support our classes and then some copies of Sweet Valley High, a stray copy of Outsiders, and not much else. That’s all to say that I completely understand his perception of what was out there, because it was mine, too, for a very long time. I still feel like I missed out on a whole experience related to books from my teen years.

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