Rowling and religion in CL (was DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Sat Feb 21 18:08:17 EST 2004


Melissa:

>  >Just ran away in a rage from a post on another forum which said that
>>US writers have it *all over* OZ and UK writers in YA lit.  The
>>writer did admit that it wasn't all OZ and UK kid lit (the
>>abreviations were his/hers), just the majority, and that young
>>readers in his/her shop walk right by the imports because they don't
>>want to read books that are dumbed down to be aimed at them!  DWJ -
>>dumbing down?  Joan Aiken?  Susan Cooper and Alan Garner (though the
>>former is of somewhat dubious nationality, I admit) and oh -  I'll
>>stop sputtering now.  Probably this person is insular enough for me
>>to get away with including Margaret Mahy as an 'Oz writer' who helps
>>disprove the theory!  (Apologies to our New Zealand members - I know
>>better, really!)
>
>Uh, what?  Where did this person get THAT idea?!?  Most people realize that
>non-US young adult literature is going to be MORE challenging!  Not to
>mention that "OZ and UK" writers will go into far more detail about sex and
>other taboo subjects than a US writer does (or is allowed to? don't know how
>much publishing pressure comes into it).  Why does that shop owner even
>bother carrying said books if nobody wants to read them?  And--ooh, this
>ticks me off more--if he's the shop owner then he's an idiot not to do
>whatever he can to change that impression, unless he likes not making as
>much of a profit as he can.
>
>Geez, I'd be raging too.  Hope you found a good paper bag.

I think I vented so much here that I wasn't in need of one by the 
end. :)  I managed to be extremely polite and respectful and ask 
questions instead of attacking - you wouldn't have bet on it, would 
you?  I mentioned some of the above authors, and David Almond and the 
reply was that those were precisely the UK writers the kids did 
choose.  So I never got an answer to which UK writers were supposed 
to be dumbing down for kids, or weren't willing to deal with tough 
issues, but ...  Actually, I don't know, but even attempting to be 
tactful - this person (in a good mood) seemed rather less coherent 
than I was when in a passion, so I'm not sure there was a real point 
being made.  Most of the other people involved in the thread were 
from the UK anyway, and were big readers of kid's lit, so they were 
probably just relieved to have someone else say it all for them!

Hallie.

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