YA Fiction, ALA Prizes, and the Book Business
We are always suggesting to our fiction writing friends, especially Latino authors because of the dearth of YA Latino fiction, that they consider writing young adult novels. If the work is well reviewed, then the books will have a much longer life span. And there’s the added enticement that YA readers are more adventurous readers. A writer is not necessarily singing to the choir. An example of what can happen is Sherman Alexie’s first YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian which won the National Book Award and should have been more seriously considered for the ALA’s Printz Award. Sherman writes with deep understanding and wit about the struggles and confusion and honor of the Native American experience in 21st Century America. Like Barack Obama in the political realm, he represents a new breed of intellectual, especially among writers of color who are not strapped down to an old doctrinaire politics. We recommend the novel highly. For a taste of Sherman, he wrote an interesting piece about being a YA novelist in Publishers Weekly (2/18/08).
And to end this post on a distressing and confusing note, the Borders bookstore chain has been struggling financially and is considering selling itself. One of the suitors is Barnes & Noble. Holy conglomeration, Batman.