Monday, September 22, 2008

YA for Obama

Okay so this political season I have been fascinated by the role of literature and publishing.

It started with the fact that John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all have autobiographies. If I remember correctly, when Barack Obama published The Audacity of Hope, that's when the buzz about his seeking nomination started.

Okay fine, then I started reading Meghan McCain's blog. And for the like three days, I could stand it, I learned she was publishing a children's book. Say what?!? I used to read a Kiddie Lit blog, and she had a whole BACA club (Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors).

Then there was the whole Sarah Palin book banning scandel, which if I understand correctly concerned her inquiry into whether she could ban books not that she did ACTUALLY ban books.

However, this last incident prompted a huge response from the Young Adult authors. And so now for your viewing pleasure I will link you to YA for Obama. It was started by Maureen Johnson, who is the "secret sister" to the Green brothers who host my favorite YouTube channel, the Vlogbrothers, and more importantly is the author of several Young Adult novels including her most recent book Suite Scarlett. A lot of people are involved (a lot of Nerdfighters from the Green brothers Ning community) including Judy Blume who wrote the first blog post.

Here's what I find fascinating. This is a group that while it might have political opinions is not political by nature. They aren't lobbists. They aren't polled as a voting block. (And certainly all YA authors are not necessarily supporting Barack Obama.) They don't even necessarily all know each other--hello who's personal friends with Judy Blume?!? They found a place of common ground and are now doing their part in political activism. And that's amazing. It's even more amazing when you consider that young adults who read (there are growing concerns of aliteracy--you can read, but you don't) can be incredibly attached to their authors. (I still love Madeleine L'Engle.) So these adults are modelling for their readers how to be engaged in the political process before they have time to get cynical. Man it makes me feel warm and squishy inside.

Update: 9/23 PS It's banned book week. :-)

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