Bookish News: Young Adult Novels and Swearing

bookishnews.jpgBookish News is a feature in which I scour the farthest corners in the virtual land known as the internet in hopes of learning what’s happening in the book world.

A new young adult novel has been quite a hit but has also caused some controversy.

When Mr. Dog Bites

Dylan Mint has Tourette’s. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in – the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard. 

But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he’s going to die next March. 

So he grants himself three parting wishes: three ‘Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It’.

It isn’t a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn’t have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing – and no-one – is quite as he had previously supposed.

A story about life, death, love, sex and swearing, When Mr Dog Bites will take you on one *#@! of a journey . . 

Apparently, this novel includes more than a few curse words throughout the story and some people say it should not be marketed to young adults as such.

The book’s language first drew media attention on February 4, when Telegraph culture editor Martin Chilton wrote an opinion piece addressing the language issue. Chilton wasn’t so much taken back by the obscenities – although his profanity list for a 16-page stretch of text is sizable – but rather he expressed concern that the publisher is using the fact of the strong language to publicize the book. “It is not as though publishers, Bloomsbury, are unaware of the novel’s content, which they have issued simultaneously on their YA and adult list… because they are using the swearing to publicise the book,” Chilton wrote. “Charlie Higson’ verdict (that the book is “funny and foul-mouthed”) is included on the press release along with two ostensibly humorous promotional slogans: “Welcome to the world of Dylan Mint. He’s going to take you on one *#@! of a journey” and “When Mr Dog Bites is controversial, hilarious and #@!Δing brilliant! (Source)

Martin Chilton, raises a point: should we be marketing profanity for young people? Is it the same as glamorizing it? Because of the controversy two versions of the novel have been made, one for adults and one for young adults. The only different between the two is that on the cover of the young adult novel there is a warning label that claims EXPLICIT CONTENT.

So now the question is at hand, should we start assigning age classifications like they do in films? The author of the controversial novel has something to say about that,

Conaghan said he considers a young reader anyone up to age 14 and argues against putting age labels on books. “We have to be careful,” he said, “because I have taught many younger teenagers over the years with a level of maturity and intelligence that belies their years. It may be inaccurate to simply measure ability, emotional maturity and erudition through age range alone. That being said, I fully understand why the warning label is on the jacket of my book and I have not rallied against having it on there.” (Source)

He makes good points here, we can not judge on age alone. Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls, also had some input on the issue.

Author Patrick Ness who has written for adults as well as for teens, weighed in on Twitter. He said such classifications are tricky because reading ability doesn’t always match age. Young readers, he added, are also exposed to what he sees as more problematic content, such as “a naked Miley Cyrus licking a sledgehammer.” (Source)

There’s also the issue of putting readers off novels with age classifications. The younger age is going to want to read the books designated for older ages and the older age isn’t going to want to touch books designated for the younger age.

Personally, I think we need to rely on the old fashioned system: word of mouth. If the language adds to the story and enhances the character then that’s fine. Its honest and like Ness said, kids these days are exposed to much worse. But if there seems to be cursing just for the sake of cursing and distracts from the story write a bad review, don’t recommend the novel.

What is your opinion? Should we add age classifications to novels? Share below and happy reading!

Bookish News: TFiOS Trailer, Potter Buzz, Plutarch Heavensby

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Bookish News is a feature in which I scour the farthest corners in the virtual land known as the internet in hopes of learning what’s happening in the book world.

The Fault in Our Stars Trailer

For those of you that have read John Green’s latest novel, here is the trailer of the movie adaptation. I have to say that I had hesitations at first but after watching the trailer I am oh so excited. I love how the two main characters are so ‘real’ looking and not especially glamorized.

 

 

J.K. Rowling Drops a Bomb on Potter Fans

Saturday J.K. Rowling gave all her Potter fans a heart attack by claiming that she regrets having Ron and Hermione end up together. She went further to say that Harry and Hermione should have actually ended up together, claiming, that it made more sense. What’s even more interesting is Emma Watson was the one interviewing J.K. Rowling and she agreed with her, going on to say that she thought fans would always wonder if Ron could truly make Hermione happy.

Apparently when Rowling first started the series she envisioned Ron and Hermione together but as the series developed she forced the two together instead of letting the series take its natural course.

Twitter exploded with emotions as people immediately started taking sides and starting a war among those loyal to Ron and Harry. In my opinion it doesn’t matter. The books are written, its done, the end. She wrote Ron, Hermione and Harry so brilliantly that each one seemed real. Ron in particular seems to represent the everyday man, not the smartest or bravest, but loyal and to me he was the most inspiring.

It changes nothing, except adding to Rowling’s brilliance. If her forced writing is that believable than her capabilities are far more than we ever imagined.

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Plutarch Heavensby Needs Replacing

Sunday was a very tragic day indeed, and not just for Bronco fans. Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed way due to over dosing on heroin. Needless to say he was an extremely talented actor that influenced film and helped shape what it is today. For those of you that don’t know he played Plutarch Heavensby, the new game maker, in the movie Catching Fire. I think the majority opinion of fans of Suzanne Collins series is that he gave an excellent performance and exceeded all expectations of that character.

The question is now, what happens to the Mockingjay movies? They have all ready started filming, so did they get enough of Hoffman to make the movie work or will they have to erase what they have done and replace him. And if so, who will they replace him with? Besides all that though, Hoffman will be sorely missed.

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Are you excited about The Fault in Our Stars movie? Do you think Hermione should have ended up with Harry? Who do you think they should cast as Plutarch Heanvensby? Share below and happy reading!

Bookish News: A New Virtual Library and California Bookstore Day

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Bookish News is a feature in which I scour the farthest corners in the virtual land known as the internet in hopes of learning what’s happening in the book world.

A New Virtual Library

Getty Publications has established a new virtual library! This virtual library will provide FREE online access to over 250 backlist titles, of which you can read either online or download as a PDF file. It’s an educational library, so you won’t find Twilight among it’s catalogue, but its an excellent resource for people everywhere.

We’ll see published works that are both in print and out of print (another awesome feature) from the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Research Institute.

My favorite part of this is the book profiles will include links that direct users to print editions in their local libraries. That’s perfect for someone like me who loves the feel of a book in my hands.

“Creating the Virtual Library comes out of the Getty’s conviction that an appreciation of the arts is crucial to a vital and civil society. We are committed to sharing our educational resources as part of our mission to promote knowledge and understanding of the visual arts in all their dimensions, and we are delighted to give these important works of research and scholarship a presence in the digital sphere.”

I love that! So many people nowadays hide away their research, ready to sell it to the highest bidder, when we should share everything we learn with each other. That’s the way we move forward in the world and this new virtual library is a one giant foot, taking the leading step.

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California Bookstore Day

The first ever California Bookstore Day will take place on May 3rd of this year. It involves a wide spread group of indie book stores all over California. The day involves literary inspired items that you can find NO WHERE ELSE to be sold in these bookstores for one day. Items include: Recipes From Michael Pollan’s Kitchen, a literary map of California (something I very much want), a bound gift edition short story by Neil Gaiman based on Sleeping Beauty (also something I very much want), and a tote bag illustrated with the entire text of Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

The idea is to bring people in with these fantastic items so that they will also buy other things available in the store, supporting local bookstores everywhere. It’s a wonderful idea and they have many authors teamed up to help make it a reality. One of which I am most excited for is Lemony Snicket. His childhood series will always remain a favorite of mine.

So on May 3rd celebrate California Bookstore Day by stopping by your local bookstore and purchasing an item that can’t be found elsewhere. (While you’re at it, buy me one too).

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What do you think about the virtual library? Will you celebrate California Bookstore Day? Do you have any bookish news to tell? Share below and happy reading!