I am wary when I walk into bookstores these days, because I don't need to dip into the horror section to find books that scare me. I take a look around at the white faces on the covers and think about how I'm not encountering books about people like me. Except, given how popular the whitewashing of covers is just at present, maybe I am and just don't know it.
Whitewashing book covers, representing non-white characters as white* on covers, is a publishing practice which has become disturbingly common.
This summer, I'm reading lots of young adult literature. Re-visiting some of my favorites from high school, catching up on some of the gems I missed, and paging through what has been published since I reached adulthood. I invite you to do the same. Re-read an old favorite, or discover a new one. You don't need to be a teen, parent, teacher, or librarian to read YA Lit. All you need is an interest in how stories are being told to teenagers.
Read My Bitch is a brand-new audio segment that features Bitch Magazine readers and subscribers sharing one of their favorite articles from the archives by reading it aloud and discussing it afterwards. For our first episode, Kristin reads aloud "Harriet and Claudia, where have you gone? Notes on the gender divide in children's literature," by Monica T. Nolan, which was printed in Issue 15, Winter 2002. Kristin reads aloud a sizable excerpt from the piece, and, being in the publishing industry herself, discusses how she relates both personally and professionally to the article, which covers how independent, young female protagonists are unfortunately few and far between. You can subscribe to Read My Bitch on our iTunes channel, along with other Bitch audio programs.
Andromeda Klein is the second YA novel by Frank Portman, aka Dr. Frank of East Bay punk band The Mr. T Experience. Even the simplest plot description showcases how truly weird Portman's latest creation is: she's a high school student/magic disciple attempting to decode the dream messages she is receiving from her dead best frenemy. This isn't harmless, whimsical, nose-wrinkly "Bewitched"-style magic, and Andromeda isn't just quirky or offbeat – think more along the lines of deeply alienated and borderline schizophrenic.
Stephenie Meyer’s vampire-infested Twilight series has created a new YA genre: abstinence porn
Abstinence has never been sexier than it is in Stephenie Meyer’s young adult four-book Twilight series. Fans are super hot for Edward, a century-old vampire in a 17-year-old body, who sweeps teenaged Bella, your average human girl, off her feet in a thrilling love story that spans more than 2,000 pages. Fans are enthralled by their tale, which begins when Edward becomes intoxicated by Bella’s sweet-smelling blood.