~ read.

Things missed

I’ve been traveling this week, and I missed a few things of interest:

  • I’m probably the last person on Earth to see the new Harry Potter covers. Since I assume everyone has seen them, I won’t repost them here. In case you haven’t seen them, Bookshelves of Doom has a nice lineup of the three covers side by side that makes it easy to compare the U.S. cover, the UK children’s, and the UK adult. The only thing this doesn’t show is the full wraparound cover for the U.S. edition, which shows (presumably) Voldemort on the back side. For that you can go to the Scholastic site, which even has a nifty little magnifying glass you can move around to zoom in on parts of the cover. I agree with Fuse #8 that the UK children’s cover is just…strange. It just looks so cartoonish. I do like the UK adult cover very much, though.
  • There’s been a fascinating discussion about the dearth of YA science fiction at Chasing Ray, here and also here. Colleen questions why there is so little science fiction for teens, why much of the current science fiction isn’t labeled science fiction, and if it matters whether it’s labeled science fiction or not. I agree that I’d love to see more YA SF. I grew up on Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, van Vogt, and many others; many of those classics seem dated now, but there hasn’t been a new crop rising up to take their place. I wonder if it isn’t just that young people today are living in a science fiction world, which makes science fiction seem mainstream. We have wonders today that I couldn’t have imagined when I was a teen. On the other hand, we don’t have space travel, which I thought would be commonplace by now, and there doesn’t seem to be any huge drive towards moving out from Earth. It’s as if as a society, our vision has moved inwards rather than outwards.
  • A new round of the Scholar’s Blog book discussion group starts up next week. This time we’ll be discussing * A Hat Full of Sky,* the second Tiffany Aching book. This is a wonderful series, full of wit and wisdom, so if you haven’t read them, this is a perfect opportunity.
  • The Kidlitosphere’s own Mitali Perkins has a great article in School Library Journal Curriculum Connections on creating a sense of place in books. The article makes the case that books with a strong sense of place, any place, have a lot of appeal for young people growing up between cultures who may feel displaced. But even beyond that, it has a lot of wonderful information of interest to both writers and readers on how sensory information can create a sense of place, and how place can illuminate plot, character, or theme. It’s well worth checking out.
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