So You Think You Know Young Adult Literature
Trivia Column for the Spring 1997 issue of the ALAN Review
Jim Brewbaker, Columbus State University
Parents, parents, parents!
Memorable parents have figured prominently in literature for both young people and adults forever. Hamlet had his Gertrude, Huck his Pap, and Beth, Jo, Meg and Amy had their Marmie.
So it is with contemporary novels for young adults -- parents who guide their sons and daughters, parents who, in contrast, cause problems, parents who even are the problem some of the time.
For this issue's trivia quiz, match the parents described in Column A, following, with the titles and authors listed in Column B. Answers on p. 52.
A. Abner Baxter, whose son Billy defers plans for high school sports because -- with his father doing jail time -- he is needed on the farm.
B. Adam Wexley, whose daughter Davey starts a new life in New Mexico following his shooting death in a convenience store robbery.
C. Crab, a seriously ill ex-con, who wants to get to know his son Jimmy before it is too late.
D. Dr. Adamson, whose daughter's brain is transplanted into a chimpanzee following a near-fatal car crash.
E. Father, a nurturer; Mother, who holds an important position at the Department of Justice.
F. A general and commander of Inner Delta, who betrays his son Ben in an attempt to rescue young hostages.
G. Joe Starrett, whose son is fascinated by a gun-toting stranger who rides up to their farm one late afternoon in 1889.
H. "Mom," a public-housing social activist whose daughter LaVaughn displays both humor and intelligence in befriending Jolley, an unwed mother of two.
I. "Momma" (Matthews), a nurse who moves with her children Vinnie and Mason to central Virginia following the death of her husband.
J. Moses Cooper, whose son is propelled into adulthood when his father is killed on the green in Concord.
K. Mr. Chen, who, a year or so after his wife's death, makes life more complicated for his teenage daughter by dating young, very Americanized Asian women.
L. Penny Baxter, a slight man who loves "'baccy" and scratches out a meager existence for his family in North Florida.
M. The Sullivans, a blue-collar Irish-American couple whose tolerance for violence and bigotry cause Mick, the blue-eyed son, to leave home.
N. Windrider, who works in a laundry but dreams of magical flying machines.
1: Blume, Tiger Eyes
2: Cormier, After the First Death
3: Covington, Lasso the Moon
4: Dickinson, Eva
5: Fast, April Morning
6: Lowry, The Giver
7: Lynch, Dog Eat Dog
8: Myers, Somewhere in the Darkness
9: Namioka, April and the Dragon Lady
10: Paterson, Flip Flop Girl
11: Rawlings, The Yearling
12: Schaefer, Shane
13: Weaver, Farm Team
14: Wolff, Make Lemonade