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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Terms we can live without = Young-young Adult

Amusing. I wrote an article for SLJ about the Bologna Book Fair and why librarians should attend in droves.  I was unprepared for some of the formatting choices on the piece, though.  The title Betsy Goes to Bologna caught me off guard, though it’s certainly true.  But it was the art created for the piece showing a pregnant and hugely stylish librarian jet setting about the town that really caught my fancy.  First off, I’ll have to find out from artist Ali Douglass where I can go about getting some of the shoes my avatar is sporting in these pics.  Second, anyone who saw me in Bologna will be amused by the difference in relative ankle circumference.  Mine were, needless to say, more akin to sturdy oaks than the svelte saplings portrayed here.

  • You have to wonder how bad a book can be when its celebrity author can’t make a sale.  In this case, Sarah Ferguson can’t sell a picture book about a little heroic pear tree on 9/11 to U.S. publishers.  To which we say, thanks guys.  I think I owe you one.  And if you’d like to abstain from printing any other celebrity picture books, please!  Don’t feel you have to ask permission.
  • The other day I was kvetching my usual kvetch about how it is that anytime a children’s middle grade novel appears in the news, it’s instantly dubbed “YA”.  Seems that I’m not the first person to notice this oddity, though.  Monica Edinger pointed out to me that over at the fabulous Misrule blog, Judith Ridge wrote the piece Whither the Children’s Books?.  In it she discusses, amongst other things, the fact that she once saw a reviewer refer to a book as “young-young adult”.  It’s enough to make your teeth itch.
  • I think it was Travis Jonker who pointed out the strange thing about this article.  Not that thousands of people were able to locate adequate Where’s Waldo outfits.  It’s the fact that there was already a world record for Most Waldos.  Of course, over in Britain he’s known as Wally (if anyone can give me an adequate reason for the American name change I’d love to hear it).  My favorite line from the piece?  “The Street Performance World Championships managed has organised similar events and last year broke the world record for the most people on space hoppers.”  Space hoppers?  Still, it looked mighty impressive:

Thanks to Travis Jonker for the link.

  • ALA is over and done with once again.  So what did we learn?  New author Jonathan Auxier has some answers to that question in his Five Things I Learned at ALA.  My favorite without a doubt: 4) Don’t Tell Lauren Myracle Anything.
  • All good little Anglophiles love them some Mini Grey.  Now read her interview over at Playing By the Book and discover whether it’s true or not that she was born in a Mini Cooper and got her name accordingly.
  • In my children’s room in the library I have a tendency to hold on to works of fiction that get a lot of circulation but have been out-of-print for years but still get a lot of requests.  So why did it never occur to me to badger The New York Review of Books to reprint Margery Sharp’s fantastic pre-Disney classic The Rescuers?  Our first edition could stand to meet a replacement.  Their timing is good.
  • Elizabeth Fama had the best line on this article when she said, “Because babies are so interested in the roller-coaster romance between a wealthy aristocrat and the about-to-be impoverished daughter of a profligate father whose estate is entailed to a male heir. And if they can’t have that story, they definitely want a board book about two families whose feud results in the senseless deaths of their children, who have secretly become lovers.”
  • I love hearing about stage adaptations of children’s books that aren’t in the usual canon.  So I was pretty thrilled to hear about a production that will be of interest to those of you in the D.C. area.  The Wit’s End puppets will be performing Alma Flor Ada’s The Malachite Palace in shadow puppet form.  Such a great idea.

Music and movie industry icons T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart, Cold Mountain) and Danny Elfman (Alice in Wonderland, Spider-Man) sign on to collaborate on the music score for Lionsgate‘s feature film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which is based on the first book in the young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Burnett will also serve as the film’s executive music producer, producing songs for the film and soundtrack.  Sounds great to Hunger Games fans as well as Burnett and Elfman fans too.  Production president Alli Shearmur is overseeing the production for the studio.  The deals for both Burnett and Elfman were negotiated by Tracy McKnight, Lionsgate’s Head/Film Music, with Lenny Wohl, EVP/Business Affairs Music & Publishing, on behalf of Lionsgate.

  • Daily Image:

Got this one over at Crooked House.  She called it “Books Contain Worlds”.  Nuff said.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Your round ups are always full of juicy loveliness! Had been looking for a pic of all the Wallys/Waldos, so thank you for that in particular 🙂

  2. “Mine were, needless to say, more akin to sturdy oaks than the svelte saplings portrayed here.” It’s lines like that that make me excited to read your upcoming books!

    It’s funny that you call out “young adult” as a term; I was just thinking the other day that when I was growing up, “young adult” meant people in their twenties, and the only time it was used on teenagers was when trying to flatter them by saying they seemed older … maybe wonder if sometimes the genre as a whole does the same?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Maybe so. Certainly the term “Teen” (recognizable to patrons of all kinds) is more straightforward. Less ambiguous. Though I couldn’t blame the kid that rejects the term “Tween”. How great a term can it be if it has the word “Twee” right smack dab in the middle there?

  3. Wow. The Hunger Games movie seems to be doing everything right so far. Impressive.

  4. Re the term “tweens” — this apparently universally reviled, unattractive term seems to have been invented by none other than the magisterial J.R.R. Tolkien! I am re-reading “The Fellowship of the Ring” and I came upon this, smack on the first page of the first chapter:

    “At that time Frodo was still in his *tweens*, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three.”

    No joke. Look it up yourself. Strange!

    And I want to live in the world of that picture of you in Bologna, Betsy!

  5. Great news on the music side of hunger games. I was talking with a camera crew member this past weekend and he was kind enough to show me a couple videos of the filming he captured with his phone including a video of the filming of the initial cornucopia scene with all the tributes running to the big pile of supplies. He also told me they blew the cornucopia up last week. Very cool.

  6. Did I ever tell you about the time James and I were walking in fron the the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a Saturday when we saw a young man dressed as Waldo walking through the crowd, complete with red balloon? We joked about how that guy might just like to dress up like that and see how many tourist photos he can manage to slip into.

  7. Aha. Asked our English friends, and a space hopper is ” one of those bouncy balls with handles that you bounce on. ”

    Don’t mention it.

  8. When I heard about the Baby Lit books, I started a thread on Twitter #babylit, because surely lines in a board book are less than 140 characters!

    I just HATE it when parents try to “introduce” kids to the classics before they are at an appropriate age to enjoy the classics — as if there’s something magic about the story that knowing it means a person is more educated. Classics for toddlers is taking it to the extreme utter edge of ridiculousness! (I don’t even like abridged classics, but this is crazy!)

    It’s fun to make up lines for it, though:

    Mr. Darcy was mean to Lizzie. But Mr. Darcy has a nice house.

    Tybalt and Mercutio fight on the playground. Romeo tries to stop the fight. Oops! Mercutio is dead. Now Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo is in trouble.

    Romeo is sad. He thinks Juliet is dead, but she is only pretending. Uh-oh! Romeo, don’t drink that poison! Oops! Too late!

    Can you say “inappropriate,” boys and girls?

    And the WSJ thought YA was getting too dark!

  9. Sondy, I think you need to script some 90-Second Newberys!

  10. Hi, as a big Peter Jackson fan, I can’t wait for the Hobbit movies. Especially loved the Elves of the trilogy, and then found this on iTunes. The Hobbit – A Cinematic Journey. It’s very like the music from the films, even has a bit of ‘The Omen’ about it.