Jim Blasingame & Lori Goodson
From the Editors
As the song says, “School’s out for the summer,” and summer has truly been a great time to load up on the latest in young adult literature, grab a frosty glass of iced tea, and settle into that comfortable chair by the pool.
OK, maybe your summer hasn’t been as tranquil as all that, but YA lit can certainly take you miles away from the syllabus begging for revision, lesson plans needing to be written, books waiting to be catalogued and filed, and all the around-the-house chores, as well.
And, while you’re thumbing through the great young adult literature that is hitting the shelves, we hope you will enjoy our issue, which focuses on the past, present, and future of young adult literature. Speaking of the future of young adult literature, we feature an extensive interview with a rising star in the field, Kevin Brooks, as well as reviews of his most recent books, Kissing the Rain and Lucas. You’re also welcome to dive into our wide array of articles dealing with the past—from Debra Seely, author of books set in 19th century Kansas ranching country, discussing the role of historical fiction, to Eleanor Ramrath Garner sharing her insights into the use of memoirs in adolescent literature, including her notable autobiographical work, Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany recalling her time as a young girl in Hitler’s World War II Germany. We also include features on both award-winning authors.
In this issue’s Library Connection, we welcome guest columnist Karen Peterson, who provides ample information about an outstanding city library’s web page designed to link teens with books. She details the teen web page created by the City of Mesa, Arizona, in an effort to encourage other cities and schools to generate their own web pages. We also welcome the first column from our Middle School Connection columnist, Claudia Katz, and her coauthor, Karen Boran.
And then there’s our focus on African American mothers and daughters. KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson’s article examines mother-daughter relationships in contemporary young adult novels, through black feminist theory.
Pam B. Cole’s article demonstrates the current and future uses of young adult literature, and the genre’s abilities to help teenagers, especially boys, maneuver through their first relationships.
Truly, young adult literature has a rich past, a robust present, and an ever-expanding future. We’re excited about where the genre has been, its current vitality, and the unlimited possibilities that loom in the future.
Yes, summer is ending, but we hope you’ll agree that there are plenty of lessons within the pages of this issue. Grab a chair and enjoy.