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A Mango-Shaped Space - Wikipedia
"A Mango-Shaped Space is a 2003 young adult novel by Wendy Mass. The book received the American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award in 2004.[1] It has since been nominated for, and received, a number of other awards.[2] The hand lettering for the cover is by Billy Kelly. The book is recommended for grades 5-8. A 7 hours long audiobook version, narrated by Danielle Ferland, has been produced.

The plot centers around Mia Winchell, a thirteen-year-old girl living with synesthesia, a jumbling of the senses: Words and sounds have color for her. The novel is about her experiences with synesthesia and the problems it causes her in school, with friends, and her ultimately winning the understanding of her family and peers."
books  ya  toread  via:caitlin  2003  synesthesia 
july 2019 by robertogreco
The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story
"The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers. Our flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans."
books  race  ya  teens  booklists 
january 2016 by robertogreco
The Plot of YA Novels If They Actually Reflected Real Teenagers' Lives - Mic
"Fiction is powerful. In fact, studies show that reading literature fosters valuable qualities like empathy and social skills. Young adult fiction especially has the power to instill these values and shape the world views of future generations — and yet, it often fails to represent the realistic experiences of diverse teens and may even perpetuate negative standards.

While many are fighting against this lack of representation, teen author John Hansen — who identifies as a feminist, queer and an ally — is addressing the representation of teenage life in a clever new Twitter hashtag, #VeryRealisticYA.

The conversation began with Hansen's observation that, despite being geared towards young adults, this genre generally doesn't reflect the reality of being a teenager. Hansen's observations quickly evolved into #VeryRealisticYA — a widespread exploration of the many sexist, heterosexist and overall problematic social norms young adult fiction often perpetuates."

""It began largely as a loving joke about how different YA books would be were they extremely realistic, in that instead of saving the world the main character would probably just be scrolling through Twitter all day," Hansen told Mic in an email on Monday. But as the hashtag evolved, it began to highlight actual social issues coded into many YA plots, like:

The way in which YA often romanticizes unhealthy, inequitable relationships...

...and upholds heterosexist relationship norms and homophobia.

Not to mention puritanical ideas about sex and teen sexuality...

...and, of course, stereotypical gender roles, into which female characters are still routinely confined.

In the spirit of the creative, quirky joy that is often at the heart of the best young adult novels, contributors also used the hashtag to generate plenty of plot lines that would better resonate with all young adults, no matter their background.

"Books transmit values," acclaimed author of children's and young adult fiction Walter Dean Myers wrote in a 2014 New York Times op-ed. "They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?" Myers' observation is backed by fact: Studies show that representation in the media has an impact, both on making marginalized groups feel fully realized and on dominant groups recognizing their value.

Thankfully, there certainly are young adult fiction authors who recognize this, as evidenced by various markers of recognition (like diverse book lists), public declarations of support for diversity and even their participation in hashtags such as #VeryRealisticYA. "Many YA books deal in an honest way with the complexities of the world, whether it's through a contemporary or fantasy setting," Hansen told Mic, citing books such as Pointe by Brandy Colbert and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz as prime examples of texts in the genre incorporating more diverse characters and journeys.

It's inspiring to see that even when mainstream mediums fail us, there are plenty of individuals, within the YA community and beyond, who are willing to raise their voices and create the change they wish to see —in an abundantly creative, thoroughly delightful way, no less. Let's hope that some of these Very Realistic plot lines are expanded beyond 140 characters and will grace our bookshelves in years to come. "
fiction  ya  yafiction  humor  2015  realism  johnhansen  values  reality  culture  gender  stereotypes  sexuality  youth  teens  youngadults  relationships 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Let Me Explain to You a Thing
"I see and write a lot of “DON’T DO THIS!!!” posts, so I thought I would make a “DO THIS!!!” post.

General Requests

• More POC in leading roles
• More important friendships
• More queer characters in leading roles
• More disabled characters in leading roles
• More genderqueer and trans characters in leading roles
• Realistic women in leading roles
• Happier/more positive characters and messages


• 45 Things I Want to See More Of (Part 2)
• Black Villains
• Boys in YA
• Characters
• Cool Things (2) (3)
• Fantasy (2)
• Female Characters (2)
• Female Character Traits
• Happiness
• Horror Genre Mashups
• Magic Systems
• Male Characters
• Medieval Fantasy
• Modern Fantasy
• Plots
• Relationships
• Romance (2)
• Soulmate AUs
• Stories
• Stories I Want to Read
• Urban Fantasy
• What thewritingcafe Wants
• YA Novels (2) (3) (4)

My wish list tag is always updating and includes posts containing things I would like to see in fiction. characterandwritinghelp has a similar tag.

The plot bunnies tag is likewise updating and includes posts that I think would make for an interesting story.

More Things I Would Like to See

• Steampunk with different ethnic influences alongside the gears
• Utopias that try really hard to be good, even though they aren’t and never will be perfect
• Science and magic coexisting
• Creation stories - stories that focus on building and growth rather than destruction
• People are good themes
• Extroverted protagonists
• Environments other than temperate deciduous
• Stories centered on art
• Stories without war

• Nonviolent revolutions
• Genres from different viewpoints (YA from adult perspective, dystopian from government worker perspective, fantasy from A REAL PEASANT)
• Stories focused on a not nation-changing events within a larger world
• Negative rebellions
• Recovery stories (from wars, especially)
• Love stories where the characters are already together/married
• Many main characters
• A story about averting a war via aggressive diplomacy
• Stories of a land during its Golden Age
• Stories centered on science
• Stories centered on someone’s strange profession
• Optimistic messages (an optimistic story does not necessarily need to be a happy one)
• Villain protagonists, or antagonists and protagonists who have equally valid/sympathetic goals
• Journey stories á la the Oregon Trail
• Borderlands with lots of culture clashes
• Settings that play a huge role in the story
• Ordinary heroes (scared, untrained, and will never be ready for power)
• Stories centered on games and entertainment
• Stories that show how victors/history distorts the past

A lot of my longer posts (like Therianthropy, Magic, and Apocalypse/Post-Apocalyse) and posts on worldbuilding are hopping with plot bunnies, so you should check those out if you want more specific help."
orldbuilding  storytelling  genre  peace  nonviolence  diversity  srg  writing  ya  youngadult  plot  characters  settings  fantasy  relationships 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Best of 2014: Medievalpoc Fiction Week Masterpost ... - People of Color in European Art History
"Best of 2014: Medievalpoc Fiction Week Masterpost

All Fiction Week Posts in one Mega Reading List!!

Thistil Mistil Kistil: Medieval Webcomic
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
Novels by Amelie Howard
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon (includes criticism)
Diversity Showcase: Indie YA Science Fiction, Fantasy and Steampunk
Never Alone (Kisima Innitchuna) [-gifs at link]
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okarafor
Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
Review by skemono: Marvel: Mighty Avengers, by Al Ewing and Greg Land
"As Demographics Shift, Kids’ Books Stay Stubbornly White" by Elizabeth Blair
Novels by Miriam Forster
"A Diversity Reading List" by Ellen Oh
Gaming and RPGs: V20 Dark Ages by David Hill
Novels by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Octavia Butler Bibliography
"Ellen Oh Talks History of Hanboks" by Ellen Oh
Reading List: African Literature
The N. K. Jemisin Bibliography
ElfQuest by Wendy and Richard Pini (includes criticism)
Sword and Silence by Joyce Chng
Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction
So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Ursula K. LeGuin Bibliography
Birth of a Dark Nation by Rashid Darden
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
"My Multicolored Heroes" by Sarwat Chadda
Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona & Jake Wyatt
Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn by Danielle Ackley-McPhall and Day Al-Mohammed
Novels by Zoe Marriott
Short Fiction: Lunar Year’s End by Jaymee Goh (Crossed Genres)
Short Fiction: Blessed are the Hungry by Victor Fernando R. Ocampo (Apex)
The Blood of Eden series by Judy Kagawa
Ash by Malinda Lo
Diversity in YA: 10 Sci Fi/Fantasy Novels About Latino Characters
Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Courtship in the Country of Machine-Gods by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Unforgiven: A Highlander Fic (based on a 19th century painted portrait’s resemblance to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) by C. E. Murphy
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okarafor
EastisEverywhere: topical commentary on discussions of multicultural Singaporean Literature
The Vast and Brutal Sea by Zoraida Cordova
L’Île au trésor by Jean-Philippe Stassen and Sylvain Venayre
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Nebula Award Winner for Best Novel)
Review by r-stern: Assassin’s Creed
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
"Diversity, Literature, and the Audacity of Writing"-shwetanarayan
EastIsEverywhere: Selection of Singaporean Literature
Review by Medievalpoc: Dicebox by Jenn Manley Lee
Review by Medievalpoc: Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History ed. Rose Fox and Daniel José Older
Mytho by Zimra
Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier Saint-Georges by Lesa Cline-Ransome
DiversityInYA: 9 Books With South Asian Main Characters
Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
"Possibilities" by Medievalpoc
Mary Robinette Kowal on the Glamourist Series, historical Accuracy, and Medievalpoc
Discussion: Fairy Tales, Retellings, Race, and Creativity
House of Hades by Rick Riordan
"Black Nerds, Escapism, and Why We Need More Diverse Books" by Hannah Giorgis
DiversityInYA: Diverse Selections Including Romeo and Juliet Retellings
Review by Medievalpoc: Saga (Image Comics) by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
10 African American YA Authors to Know
No Queens in Afrika: Women Rulers in Sword & Soul and Other African-Inspired Fantasy
The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton, art by Leo and Diane Dillon
Refilwe: An African Retelling of Rapunzel by Zukiswa Wanner
Bitch Magazine Series: Girls of Color in Dystopian YA Fantasy Literature
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History-Without the Fairytale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Neil Gaiman on Diverse Casting and American Gods
Reading List: Books with Gay Women of Color Protagonists
Fantasy Survey Results from writingcafe
10 Asian Pacific American YA Authors to Know
The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McKissack & J. Brian Pinkney
FOR LOVE & LIBERTY: Untold Love Stories of the American Revolution
The Little Piano Girl: The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend
Erekos by A.M. Tuola
Dark Metropolis, Otherbound, Drift, Rebellion and more from DiversityInYA
Crow in the Hollow by Brian W. Parker
The Dragon King Chronicles by Ellen Oh
"Don’t Categorize Diverse Books as ‘Special Interest’" by Ellen Oh
"Notable Novels for Teens About the Arab World" by Elsa Marston
Sin Eaters: Retribution by Kai Leakes
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M. T. Anderson
"The Most Important Advice I Can Give To Writers" by blue-author
Half World by Hiromi Goto
Author Corinne Duyvis on why her YA fantasy, Otherbound, is not an issue book
Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis
Novels by Nnedi Okarafor
Faerie Blood by Angela Korra’ti
Annals of the Western Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Dreamblood series by N.K. Jemisin
"12 Fundamentals of Writing "The Other" (And The Self)" by Daniel José Older
Junot Díaz and the White Gaze, La Respuesta Magazine
"Whitewashing and the Earthsea Cycle" by Medievalpoc
The Circle of Magic books by Tamora Pierce
Review by Medievalpoc: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
"The Diversity Struggle for a POC Author" by Lydia Kang
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
Discussion and Humor: Fantasy Sub-Genre Fiction “Explained”
"Race, Sexuality, and the Mainstream" by Malinda Lo
Review by Medievalpoc: Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars (a blurb from this review is included in the front matter of The Very Best of Kate Elliott, forthcoming in Feb. 2015)
Wizards of the Coast’s Doug Beyer on Kiora, the Crashing Wave and Cultural Appropriation in Fantasy Media
Broken Age trailer from Doublefine Studios
Review by r-stern: Yoko Tsuno by Roger Leloup
"Children and the Myth of Colorblind Youth" by Medievalpoc
"Who Gets to Be a Superhero? Race and Identity in Comics" by Gene Demby
Review by Medievalpoc: The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
Medievalpoc accidentally reviews Wolves of the Dawn by William Sarabande while attempting to answer a question
Kids Respond to Whitewashing on Book Covers"
books  booklists  medievalpoc  classideas  literature  peopleofcolor  fiction  srg  ya  diversity 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Welcome To The Amanda Project § The Amanda Project
"This site is about a girl named Amanda Valentino. She started at our school, Endeavor High, on Halloween. She vanished in March, but has been sending us cryptic clues ever since. Her friends—Hal Bennett, Callie Leary, and Nia Rivera—have set up this website to try to find other people that knew her so they can discover more about who she was and why she disappeared. Every Friday they post new stories and clues for you to investigate & discuss.

Help us write Amanda's Story!
The best way to jump into The Amanda Project is by reading Our Stories. Here are some good stories to start with if you're new:

Connect the Dots: It seems like Amanda had a different story about her life for every person she met. She told Callie she was living in a big Victorian house downtown, she told Hal she was living at the new Riviera Condos, and she told Nia that she was staying at the Comfort Inn off Route 10. We've found out she didn't actually live in ANY of those places, but is there a method to her lies? Find out in the mystery - Connect the Dots.

The Cryptic Claws of Madame Zee: Amanda sightings abound (she's been seen in LA, Paris, New York, Hong Kong...) but few are caught on video. When Hal, Callie, and Nia go to the Orion Fair investigate the psychic Madame Zee, a reader sends in this video. Is it Amanda? Watch it and decide for yourself in - The Cryptic Claws of Madame Zee.

Cross Your T's: One day, when she was still in school, Amanda suddenly turned white and ran out of Mrs. Watson's trig class, dropping this note by accident. Why was she so startled? Nia decides to go super scientific and analyze the handwriting in an effort to find out who wrote it. What does your handwriting say about you? Read - Cross Your T's to find out.

Read the books!
Another great way to delve into Amanda's mystery is, of course, by reading the books!

Amanda's story will be published as an eight-book series—and each book will include writing from readers like you.

The first book about Amanda, came out in hardcover last fall, and includes a post from superstar site member PhysicsNerd. It's hitting stores as a paperback on December 28, 2010, and will include a NEW piece of writing from one of YOU.

Check out the Books home to find out more."

[Zine: ]
[Wattpad: ]
books  collaboration  storytelling  writing  srg  theamandaproject  ya  classideas  wattpad 
september 2014 by robertogreco
LA Review of Books Blog: Better to Light a Candle than to Curse the Darkness (Cecil Castellucci)
"putting the right book in the right kid’s hands is kind of like giving that kid superpowers. Because one book leads to the next book and the next book and the next book and that is how a world-view grows. That is how you nourish thought."

[via: ]
cecilcastellucci  books  teens  youth  ya  youngadult  reading  readiness  teaching  mentorship  nourishment  superpowers  2011 
june 2011 by robertogreco

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