Over on Book Riot this week…
- 100 must-read short young adult books (clocking in at 250 pages or fewer).
- Love Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give? You’ll want to pick up these YA reads next.
A little wordplay is always fun, and it’s especially fun when it’s worked into the cover of a book. I love how the covers I’ve highlighted below use the crossout technique to add another layer of meaning to the titles. Is the true title the one that includes or does not include the crossed out words? It’s not the same in each example, though context does helpfully give us the answer quickly. Interestingly, in The Bully Book, this technique is only used on the paperback; the original hardcover included the word Bully crossout-free. Disclaimer is the opposite: the publisher ditched the crossout technique for the paperback.
Are you a fan of this style of cover? What other books use this technique to good effect?
This weekend saw victims of assault in the kid lit world coming forth to name the individuals who’ve harmed them. While no public forum like the comments on an SLJ article — one which fails to mention my work on this topic and fails to link to the work Anne Ursu was undertaking at the same time — will solve the issue, it’s a start. And like all starts, it’s rife with problems. It’s not victims alone coming forth to put voice to their experiences. It’s many on the sidelines sharing hearsay, which does more harm than good. In early instances in the SLJ comments, those individuals were told they were taking away from the voices of actual victims.
Over the last few days, a question has popped up in my inboxes, as well as across social media. What can teachers and librarians do now, knowing that they have seen names of authors and knowing they can’t ignore them?
This is tricky, but here are some options, and I hope this short, quick guide at least provides an opportunity to engage critically with your collection development, reader advisory, or teaching habits, as well as a pathway to navigating this unfamiliar terrain. Although timely in the wake of sexual assault victims speaking up, know this also applies to authors who’ve been engaging in racist and other behaviors which are inappropriate.
If librarians or educators have any more questions not addressed here about what to do in light of what we’re learning, please reach out. Drop them in the comments here, and Kimberly, me, or our fantastically thoughtful readers can hop in and offer some thoughts. Remember that you have all the tools you need at your disposal. It’s a matter of remembering to turn back to those and rely on them as means to help you through.
We now present the trend of even less specificity: “Thing” or “Things” in the YA title.
Note that the titles on this list are only for YA books published in 2017 and in 2018. The list really is this long, and it excludes titles which have the word “everything” or “nothing” in them — which would have added another significant number of titles to this list.
What does “Thing” in the title imply when it comes to a trend? Perhaps nothing. But as a reader and as someone who talks about a lot of book titles, as well as someone who regularly thinks about serving readers great book recommendations, I can say easily all of these titles blend and blur together far too easily.
It’s almost as if “Thing” in the title is as unmemorable as the word itself.
Can you think of others from the last year or so that would fit on the list? I’d love to see them, if for no reason other than to continue becoming confused among all of the titles which have a hard time standing apart from one another. I’ve purposefully left the authors of the books off the list, in part because authors often don’t come up with the titles of their books and in part to showcase how indistinguishable the titles can be from one another without that context.
I have, of course, put together a nifty graphic of some of the covers because there is power in seeing an image, too.
10 Things I Can See From Here
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over
All The Forever Things
All Things New
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Dare Mighty Things
Definitions of Indefinable Things
The Geography of Lost Things
That Inevitable Victorian Thing
Kale, My Ex, and Other Things To Toss In A Blender
The Last Thing You Said
The Most Dangerous Thing
One Small Thing
Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things
These Things I’ve Done
That Thing We Call A Heart
The Thing With Feathers
Things I Should Have Known
Things I’m Seeing Without You
Things Jolie Needs To Do Before She Bites It
The Things We Promise
A Very, Very Bad Thing
The Whole Thing Together