ALAN v25n3 - From the Editors


Diversity in its broadest terms is inclusive, encompassing us all in our unique differences. In narrow terms, diversity becomes exclusive, focusing on race or culture. In this issue the articles represent a multifaceted look at diversity. As winner of the 1997 ALAN Award for outstanding contribution to young adult literature, Mildred Taylor introduces the theme with her unflinching discussion of racism as "offensive," "not polite," and "full of pain" from her acceptance speech for that award. Author Anne C. LeMieux ponders the impact of censorship on writers who wish to open up diverse issues for young adult readers as a way of helping them reflect on choices. Connie Zitlow and Lois Stover offer a comprehensive annotated bibliography of Japanese and Japanese American young adult novels and resources for teaching as well as some thoughtful background material. The cultural aspects of diversity are continued in articles that look at how Asian American teenagers are described in young adult literature and a discussion of the American Indian experience as depicted in the novels of Michael Dorris.

Continuing the definition of diversity as a broad spectrum are articles on presenting honest, accurate portrayals of gays in literature; offering examples of young adult literature and resources that focus on disabilities; discussing books that deal with eating disorders and obesity; and looking at the increasing use of capital punishment for juvenile crime through a discussion of the novel Billy. A review of a recent book on multicultural literature and Eileen Oliver's excellent discussion in "The Diversity Connection" of how we should and should not use multicultural literature in classrooms conclude this our last issue as editors.

We offer our sincere apologies to Rebecca Platzner for the unfortunate changes in the characters' names that occurred in her article "Collage in Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat Books" in the Winter 1998 issue. We could offer an explanation, but that does not correct the mistakes. We regret such an obvious lapse and will correct the names before that issue goes online.

We extend special thanks to the column editors who have made significant contributions to this journal. Without The Book Connection editors the heart of the journal would not exist. Gary Salvner, who served alone during the past year, and his colleague Virginia Monseau, who served as co-editor before becoming editor of English Journal, could not have been better at managing the flow of books and communication with publishers and reviewers as well as providing timely, well-edited copy to us. The Publisher Connection, with Jerry Weiss as editor, appeared in each issue and always offered important perspectives and voices to the publishing side of young adult literature. Chris Crowe, as The Membership Connection editor, kept everyone abreast with what is going on in various organizations concerned with young adult literature; he also maintains the ALAN Homepage. The Trivia Connection, Jim Brewbaker's creation, made us realize three times a year how much we didn't know about YA literature. Earlier, The Library Connection had stopped appearing when Betty Carter became editor of The Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, but she had been a faithful editor of the column for years.

Four columns appeared once a year. Sissi Carroll, as editor of The Research Connection, kept readers current on research being done in the teaching of young adult literature. We always knew that Nancy McCracken would submit an outstanding article for The Censorship Connection. Eileen Oliver, as The Diversity Connection editor, helped us look at multiculturalism; and Teri Lesesne, through The Retrospective Connection, made us revisit the "golden oldies" of YA literature.

To these column editors and the Editorial Board, we offer our appreciation for their fine work and to ALAN we say, "Thanks" for letting us have the opportunity to serve as editors of your fine journal."

Pamela Sissi Carroll has been selected as the new editor of The ALAN Review. She is interested in all articles about young adult literature but especially those that focus on using YA literature in high school English classes and in across-the-curriculum contexts. Send manuscripts to

Pamela Sissi Carroll
English Education
209 MCH
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4490