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Why do we even call it YA anymore?


I just can’t blog about this topic anymore. It’s worn me out. But I also can’t muster the reflexive outrage Our Crowd exhibits whenever someone wonders if there’s something weird about civilian adults with a steady reading diet of books for teenagers. There is. But it’s not because these YA books are less complex (a […]

Holiday Reading


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and may you all have lots of leisure time for reading this long weekend (if you get a long weekend). I’m happily juggling three time travel novels: Andrew Sean Greer’s The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells; Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (which I was at first listening to–it has a great reader–but it’s just […]

Science, My Aunt Fanny


Congratulations to Alice Munro. What should I read by her? You might guess from that question that I am not the world’s heaviest lifter of “literary fiction,” and am not even sure I know it when I see it. The New York Times recently reported on a study published in Science which purported to suggest […]

The Best of Youth


I just finished reading The Best of Youth by Michael Dahlie (W.W. Norton & Co., 2013). In it, aspiring twenty-something author Henry agrees to ghostwrite a YA novel for a respected Hollywood actor named Jonathan Kipling (I had Liam Neeson in mind, though that ends up doing a major disservice to Mr. Neeson). Henry has […]

Books within books


I’ve just finished reading two adult books in which the title of the book you’re reading is the same as a book in the characters’ world. The Best of Youth by Michael Dahlie is about a ghostwriter of a YA novel called… The Best of Youth. Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good stars a protagonist […]

The Silver Linings Play…book vs. movie

Silver Linings Playbook movie poster

Crossover writer Matthew Quick, author of young adult novels Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy 21, and the soon-to-be-released Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, made his debut in 2008 with The Silver Linings Playbook (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), an adult title you may have heard a little something about. It was adapted for the screen in […]

What’s on YOUR list?


  Katie Bircher and Elissa Gershowitz bring you our annual list of summer reading recommendations for kids. Strictly recreational, of course, and librarians are welcome to place a “COMMON-CORE FREE!” sticker on the PDF. What about your own reading? I’m juggling audio editions of The Woman Upstairs and Inferno on my phone; The Oracle Glass and […]

A whole bunch of questions for Lucy Knisley


In her adult graphic-novel memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen (First Second, April 2013), Lucy Knisley portrays specific periods of her life and their associated “taste-memories” in a series of witty, touching vignettes. Relish begins with Lucy’s early childhood in New York City, growing up in a family of foodies with great faith in […]

Maybe Dumbledore really WAS gay


SLJ’s Battle of the Books has begun, with Kenneth Oppel judging Wonder v. Bomb. After Margarita Engle finishes with Code Name Verity v. Titanic tomorrow, I’ll weigh in on who was the better judge. Preliminary cavil: I’m a little bothered by Oppel’s ambiguous use of the word “faultlessly.” I spent most of yesterday at home, […]

Battle or Lovefest?


The Morning News has begun its Tournament of Books, and SLJ is slated to begin its Battle of the Books on March 12th. I was pleased to see that the Morning News has already taken the gloves off, with Nathan Bradley calling The Yellow Birds a “slathering of wan cliches,” and I hope the SLJ […]