North Korean Censorship of Literature and How it Affects Children

In Sam Webb’s article North Koreans caught with foreign films, books, and TV face 10 years in prison as tyrant regime ramps up censorship, Webb talks about the consequences of North Koreans that are in possession of media and literature that has not been approved by the tyrant North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It is very commonly known that North Korea is one of the least free and most censored nations in the world, and ramping up the punishments for possessing literature that their leader does not approve of does not come as a surprise to any. However, the group that suffers the most from this censorship are the adolescents and young adults who could learn from this literature.

We have discussed in this class how important it is for young adults to have access to literature that represents them, and portrays similar issues they face that can be related to. Kim Jong-un clearly wants these adolescents to think that the issues they face are much less harsh than the issues that plague the rest of the world. Censoring how other countries live and and the freedoms that they are granted shows how much control this tyrant wants over his people. Brainwashing starts in childhood, therefore, forbidding adolescents to access media and literature that show them how different life could be also makes them think that this is the best life could be, starving, under constant scrutiny, and worshipping a ruler as if he is a god. By forbidding adolescents to access other types of literature, Kim Jong-un is making sure that only ideas that he deems important and relevant are portrayed to the youth, resulting in these adolescents as all thinking the same, without any hope or aspiration for change. Until adolescents are able to access literature that shows them exactly how their life could be in a different country, resistance to the regime will be lacking and Kim Jong-un’s unchallenged rule will continue to go unchecked.

Works Cited

Webb, Sam. “North Koreans Caught with Foreign Films and Books Face 10 YEARS in Prison Camp.” The Sun, The Sun, 2 Apr. 2017, www.thesun.co.uk/news/3235552/north-koreans-caught-with-foreign-films-books-and-tv-face-10-years-in-prison-camp-as-tyrant-regime-ramps-up-censorship/.

2018 International Book Awards Book Suggestions for YA’s

In this post I will be discussing the books An Acquaintance by Saba Sayed and One-Two by Igor Eliseev, which became finalists in the Fiction: Young Adult Literature category and the Fiction: Multicultural category, respectively, of the 2018 International Book Awards (International Book Awards, 2018). The first book I want to discuss is An Acquaintance by Saba Sayed. This novel centers around a high school aged Muslim girl named Sarah, who has a close relationship with her father, brother, and her masjid. After a new white boy/soccer star comes to town, she finds herself falling for him after he defends her against some Islamophobic students. Now, Sarah must decide what means more to her–her religion or her relationship with the new boy. Perhaps it is somewhat regressive that Sarah cannot have both, but the book ultimately explores the importance of her religion among America’s Western ideals. Sarah has to deal with criticism and rumors from close friends and members of her masjid, even though the most her and the new boy do is hold hands. (The Ideal Muslim Man, 2018). This book demonstrates that discrimination can exist even within cultures, and displays how difficult it can be to stay true to one’s own culture while inhabiting another. I think this book could help young adults see the internal struggles of their marginalized classmates and give insight into the additional hardships they face solely based on where they are from.

The next book I want to discuss is One-Two by Igor Eliseev. This novel centers around conjoined twins Hope and Faith as they navigate their life in 1980s-1990s Russia. Abandoned by their parents at birth, the girls grew up in a foster home and became accustomed to the cruel ridicule and judgment that they come to expect of others now. However, when a chance at separation surgery makes itself known, the girls embark on a journey which causes them to weigh their internal conflicts with the societal burden that they face (Glagoslav Publications, 2018). Ultimately, this book explores what it means to be different in society while also providing cultural education ans insight as the book is set in Russia.

I think both of these books could become an essential part of a school curriculum as they demonstrate cultural competency and explore human interaction and nature, which is a pivotal subject for young adults to learn about.

Works Cited

Glagoslav Publications. (2018). One-Two Igor Eliseev. Retrieved from http://www.glagoslav.com/en/Book/173/One-Two.html

The Ideal Muslim Man. (2018, March 10). Book Review: An Acquaintence. [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://theidealmuslimman.com/2018/03/10/book-review-acquaintance/

International Book Awards. (2018). Full Results Listing by Category. Retrieved from http://www.internationalbookawards.com/2018awardannouncement.html

Eliseev, I. (2016). One-Two. London, UK: Glagoslav Publications.

Sayed, S. (2017). An Acquaintance. Daybreak Press.

Book Review of Melina Marchetta’s “On the Jellicoe Road”

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is a beautifully intricate novel that won the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. The YA novel was first published in Austrailia in 2006 and made its debut in the United States in 2008 with an abbreviated title Jellicoe Road.  

*Austrailian cover pictured left and right, U.S. cover center

In the beginning of the novel, I found myself lost. Marchetta has such a way of writing that even though I was struggling to decipher what was happening I found myself wanting to go on and read more in search of answers similar to Taylor the main protagonist of the novel. The fragmentation of the novel really lends itself to seeking answers. Marchetta breaks the novel into almost two different stories it seems.

There’s 17-year-old Taylor Markham who is a senior attending a boarding school on Jellicoe Road. This boarding school is no ordinary boarding school, as it is a school specifically meant for children who have been abandoned by their parents and families. Taylor ended up at Jellicoe after her mother left her at a 7/11 when she was eleven. Every autumn a territory war is waged between the students, the “townies” of Jellicoe, and the cadets of a military school in Sydney. The cadets set up camp near the school every September as part of their outdoor training. Taylor being the student who has lived in Jellicoe the longest becomes the elected leader of the school during the war. Chaz Santangelo, son of the police chief, is the leader of the townies, and the cadets are led by Jonah Griggs.

Interwoven among Taylor’s story is one of five children who lived in Jellicoe twenty-two years previously. Their story is told in bits in pieces as it is part of Hanah’s book. Hannah actually happens to be the woman who brought Taylor to the boarding school. The freaky thing is that Hannah’s book and Taylor’s story happen to have many things in common. We’re left, as is Taylor, wondering how fictitious is Hannah’s story; could it possibly be true?

Marchetta’s ability to withhold the deepest of secrets while still telling a well-constructed novel is what drives the plot. She gradually reveals bits and pieces of the overall story offering the audience time to contemplate the actions of the characters and their past.

Taylor is probably one of the most complex characters I have encountered in a young adult novel. She is a leader but selfish, she is abrasive but longs for love, but most importantly she is brave but afraid of getting to close to people and trusting them. There are so many people in her life that want to love her but some of them can’t because of their own demons they are dealing with or Taylor can’t let them because of her own. She has dealt with sexual, emotional, and mental abuse from a very young age. Sadly, when Taylor goes off to find her mother in search for answers about her past she learns of about these abuses; memories she has forgotten all about. Taylor becomes most vulnerable with Jonah, the leader of the cadets. Previously, when Taylor was around 14, she and Jonah ran away together to find her mother in Sydney. But, Jonah ends up calling the Brigadier, the adult in charge of the cadets, to pick them up. Taylor and Jonah have a falling out but eventually makeup later on in the novel. I believe the reason Taylor and Jonah have such a strong bond is because they have both endured similar types of abuses. They both struggle to let people in because it’s a lot easier to say goodbye to people whom you have no connection with. Watching Taylor’s progression of maturing and ultimately finding her self is ambivalent in nature. As the story unfolds so do all her past traumas and there is something beautiful in the realism Marchetta uses to express this coming to terms Taylor experiences.

I think the important themes of the novel: loss, identity, and the past really emphasize the connection that can be made with young adults. These themes are present in both Taylor’s story and Hannah’s manuscript. I believe this novel does an extremely well job of describing how children respond to loss and rejection of a parent. Taylor and the children of the boarding school are all too familiar of this kind of loss just as the five children in Hannah’s manuscript are. Inresponse to this abandonment, they band together forming their own family units; while struggling with difficult questions and longing for answers. For instance, Taylor is put in the difficult position of being in charge of her House while trying to dealing with the emptiness of her mom’s absence. She finds solace in her friends Raffela, Ben, and eventually Chaz and Jonah too. All these themes go hand in hand as Taylor is struggling to figure out who she is because she has dealt with tremendous trauma and loss that she has suppressed and been suppressing for many years. While uncovering her past is a painful journey, it is the truth about her past that sets her free from all the pain she has been causing herself. Understanding her past and learning the circumstances of the loss she has endured, Taylor is better fit to understand who she is, where she comes from, and who she wants to be.

On the Jellicoe Road has stuck with me ever since I finished reading it. I was so drawn to the characters and enjoyed watching them develop as the story progressed. Knowing that you are not alone is something all of us long for. The connection I felt to all of the children in this novel was extremely powerful. We all want to belong and are looking for a place to call our own and people to call our own. I found that in this novel. I found a place that calls my name and I hope that if you read this novel you’ll find that too.

Works Cited

Anonymous Blogger. On the Jellicoe Road book covers Around the Globe. 2011. Awesome Inc. Theme. http://thewriteobsession.blogspot.com/2011/07/review-on-jellicoe-road-by-mel ina_31.Html. Accessed 28 November 2018.  

 

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami is an action-packed novel which explores the depths of human nature and how far one will go to survive. The novel is set in the fictional “Republic of Greater East Asia,” which is run by a Big Brother-like authoritarian government. The story centers around the “Program,” which students in the novel learn about in school from a young age. The Program is a government run procedure in which, each year, 50 junior high classes consisting of 42 students each are chosen to fight to the death in a remote location selected by the government. When one does the math, this amounts to the senseless murder of over 2000 innocent children each year. Each parent is notified by the government that their child has been “chosen” for the Program, essentially informing the parent of their child’s death. Once taken to a remote location, each student is fitted with a metal collar which detonates if they are found in any of the declared “forbidden zones” of the island, which change every day. The collars of every student also explode if there fails to be a death within 24 hours—a cruel way to keep the “game” progressing. Each student is given a bag with bread, water, a map of the island, and a weapon. Some students get guns and hatchets, others get forks and throwing darts complete with a dart board. The true purpose of the Program is never revealed, however government officials convince students it is done to keep the youth population “in line” and prevent them from rebelling against their elders. The novel explores the absolute limits of the human nature and what happens within the human psyche when one is forced to the limit. The novel’s main character is Shuya, otherwise known as Male Student No. 15 (each student is referred to by their name and by their government assigned number. This allows the reader to form a personal connection with the characters while also being reminded of the way the government views them—as a number). The novel follows Shuya as the main protagonist as he and Female Student No. 15, Noriko, form an alliance with Male Student No. 5, Shogo.

The main theme throughout this book is distrust in the government and ruling bodies. Takami makes this point very clear with just the shear concept of the story—a government forcing its youth to battle to the death—but, there are additional more specific examples scattered throughout the novel. Near the end of the book, Shogo confronts Sakamochi, the leader of the Program, saying, “’You’re…insane,’ he said. ‘You’re out of your mind! How can you be like that?’ He was nearly sobbing. ‘A government is supposed to serve the needs of the people. We shouldn’t be slaves to our own system. If you think this country makes sense…then you’re insane!’” (Takami, pp. 597, 2003/1999). This statement by Shogo alone portrays Takami’s own feelings toward the government in general. Additionally, each government official is introduced and initially described in a negative way, subconsciously turning the reader against them before they even play a part in the story. For example, Sakamochi’s initial description goes as such; “He was stocky but well built. His legs were extremely short, as if they served as a mere appendage to his torso. He wore light-beige slacks, a gray jacket . . . and black loafers. They all looked worn out. . . His cheeks were rosy . . . He wore [his hair] down to his shoulders like a woman in her prime. It reminded Shuya of the grainy Xeroxed tape cover of a Joan Baez he’d bought on the black market” (Takami, pp. 36, 2003/1999). This description made Sakamochi resemble some sort of evil nesting doll in my mind, which I think was Takami’s goal. For the rest of the novel, whatever Sakamochi did or said was filtered by this distasteful image, regardless of whether or not what he was doing at the time was actually innately bad. I think this effect can be applied to other countries’ governments as well. For example, the rivalry between Democrats and Republicans is often driven by the distaste of one individual’s viewpoint, which then influences a person’s interpretation of an entire party. While this form of thinking is flawed, it is clear that it transcends country borders.

While Takami shows distaste in the Japanese government, there are clues that he shares the opposite sentiment towards the U.S. At one point in the novel, Shogo and Shuya discuss where they will escape to if they survive the Program. Shogo days to Shuya, “’You should be a rocker. You’re talented. From what I hear, in [the American Empire] the odds aren’t stacked so high against you even if you’re an immigrant or exile’” (Takami, pp. 553, 2003/1999). Whether or not this statement is still true today in our current political climate, it shows that other countries view us as a safe haven and bridge to a better life. For this reason, I think it is our duty to hold to true to this belief, so that we may grant others the life they deserved but did not receive in their home country.

One of the great things about reading global YA literature is that it allows readers some insight into how other cultures view us and our country. This is important because it enables us to take a look internally, and identify what we are possibly doing right and what we could be doing better in order to center these marginalized voices. This novel taught me that our country must learn to welcome and embrace others so that we may begin to achieve a better and more tolerant world.

 

 

Takami, H. (2003). Battle Royale. (Y. Oniki, Trans.) San Francisco, CA: VIZ Media. (Original work published 1999).

International Literature and Refugee Stories

From the Syrian refugee crisis to what is currently happening at the Mexico-US border, the stories of refugees have become a bigger part of the narrative in US politics and even daily life. From reading Baddawi earlier in the semester, we already know the importance of stories about immigration and refugees. It is especially important that we read stories from international authors who have more of a background in the topic than an author from the United States who has not left the country, for example. There is so much fear and misinformation that selecting books with true or base-on true stories can help to educate students, at least. The treatment of the asylum seekers at our southern border earlier this week shows just how much we need these stories. It is all too easy to forget what is happening or believe the false accusations. Reading about why people actually flee, what they experience, and how they are treated in a new place can help to keep this on our minds and motivate people.

There are three titles I would like to recommend for reading either for yourself or for your classroom. The Bone Sparrow by Zane Fraillon tells the story of a refugee boy stuck in a detention center in Australia (The Bone Sparrow). With all the talk of and putting people in detention centers in our country, it is important to learn about something that is becoming an institution here and, hopefully, learn why this should be stopped. The second title, Earthless Trees, is a collection of stories written by teen and younger refugees about their journey and new life in New Zealand (Earthless Trees). A Land of Permanent Goodbyes, by Atia Abawi, focuses on a teenage boy in Syria throughout the refugee crisis. The last two titles are both written by refugees themselves (A Land of Permanent Goodbyes). While Atia Abawi was not a refugee from Syria, she is a refugee and was in the country as journalist during the crisis. This type of authorship is different than the first title listed which was written based on research on the conditions of detention centers in Australia. I would like to recommend a book written by someone with experience beyond research, but there does not seem to be any yet. All of these works are important novels for all ages to read to inform themselves on these topics as we fight for people.

Works Cited

“The Bone Sparrow” Amazon. Amazon, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2018.

“Earthless Trees” Christchurch Libraries. Christchurch Libraries, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2018.

“A Land of Permanent Goodbyes” Amazon. Amazon, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2018.

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)

When we started this assignment, I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a young adult book that was published outside of the United States, Canada, and Europe. At first, all the stories I found about other continents were written and published by people in North America or Europe. I used the Honour List published every other year by the International Board on Books for Young People to find multiple options and eventually chose Code Name: Butterfly for the book review post. The organization’s goal is focused on “encouraging international understanding through children’s literature” (IBBY Honor List). The way of the organization chooses books for consideration allows them to look at the best from each country. Each country that is a member or part of a National Section is allowed three nominations (What is IBBY). This keeps one country from having an overwhelming number of nominations and allows everyone to demonstrate their literary achievement. At one hundred and ninety-one honored titles, the Honour List is sure to have something on the topic you are exploring. The difficulty I faced in finding stories about other countries by people from those countries shows the importance of this award. While authors from the United States probably do a lot of research while writing a novel based in another place, you can only find out so much that way. A more accurate perspective can only come from someone who has lived there. It is important that classroom and libraries integrate more international titles so students have the opportunity to learn. If there is a larger demand, more books will be translated to English and more opportunities will open up for authors.

Besides Code Name: Butterfly there were a few titles that caught my attention. Charmaine Kendal from South Africa wrote Miscast which is the story of a young transgender boy and his coming out (Miscast). The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky is a mystery novel set around the disappearance of a teacher and the events surrounding it (The Golden Day).

 

Works Cited

“IBBY Honour List.” International Board on Books for Young People. IBBY, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2018.

“Miscast” Goodreads. Goodreads, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2018.

“The Golden Day.” Goodreads. Goodreads, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2018.

“What is IBBY.” International Board on Books for Young People. IBBY, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2018.

Review of Code Name: Butterfly

Ahlam Bsharat’s Code Name: Butterfly is a new take on the classic coming of age storyline often seen in young adult literature. The novel is set in Palestine during the Israeli occupation. There are no major events, dates, or technology given to pinpoint a year or decade beyond the main character is growing up after the second intifada which ended in 2005. Time passes in jumps and starts without a lot of notice to how long it has been since the last chapter. The background and meandering timeline of Butterfly’s adolescence creates a different perspective for an often written about theme.

 

This short novel progresses through young adulthood for the narrator by dividing into five parts. Her inner monologue gives the audience insight into the questions she is asking about herself, her family, and the state of the world she inhabits. Which side of the occupation does her father support? Will she follow her dream to leave Palestine? Why are all the marriages around her unhappy? Butterfly wants to know the answers to all of these questions, but instead stores them in her imaginary treasure chest along with her secrets. There bits of knowledge she keeps to defend herself against her friends in the future, others she keeps quiet about to avoid teasing, and others she keeps to protect her family’s feelings. Some questions she learns over the years in the book, such as when she gets her period and understands why her older sister gets to sit under blankets with special tea sometimes. Others, such as her father’s affiliation, remain unanswered at the end of the novel. In the second half of the book, the audience are told of some events that push Butterfly out of her musings and towards adulthood. Her older sister leaves the country for marriage, her father loses his job at the vineyard after decades of work, and her crush is martyred one morning for his protesting of the occupation. It is during all this when she settles on the codename Butterfly and she turns her imaginary treasure chest into a cocoon. All of her experiences, questions, and ideas are forming what will become her identity. The novel ends with a symbolic passage sparked by the realization that her community is fighting themselves instead of their actual enemies. The audience watchers her dreams of a butterfly bursting out of her inner cocoon throwing everything stored there aside as it soars away. All of the sadness and uncertainty are reconciled with a knowledge that “I knew I had what it took to go life’s distance” (Bsharat, 89).

 

The theme of hidden questions and secrets aligns with how the reader may feel throughout the story. Personally, I had to spend time looking up the history of the occupation of Palestine and different events to be able to have some sort of understanding of the world Butterfly is growing up in. The history of the this part of the world, as well as the United States hand in it, is not commonly discussion in our high school or colleges. Our lack of knowledge is mirrored by Butterfly’s as she begins to question the world around her. This is effective technique because it meets the audience where they are at instead of expecting people to already be experts. This novel is a good place to start when learning before moving onto more in depth and detailed stories about the region.

 

The novel’s use of secrets also gives insight into exactly differences between childhood in Palestine and childhood outside of there. After coming back from seeing her sister fly from Jordan to go live with her new husband, the audience listens as Butterfly describe how the kids in Jordan “can travel from city to city with their families … since there aren’t any check points. They don’t even have to carry their birth certificates everywhere” (Bsharat, 68). While she keeps this hidden away in her treasure chest, she comes to the realization that “In Palestine, children have to prove they’re children” (Bsharat, 68). Part of her coming of age is gaining perspective on her life. The overall movement of the novel away from childhood innocence to the harsher realities of adulthood is expertly impressed on the audience. Butterfly explaining to herself allows the audience to learn without being preached at or reading a dry news article.

 

Code Name: Butterfly would be a perfect fit for a teaching in a high school or college literature class. Its short length makes it reasonable for students to read during the school year and keeps the main points from being lost. The unanswered questions leave room for students to discuss possible answers and learn about the occupation of Palestine. It could be paired with Baddawi to show the history and the current situation in that area of the world. It could also be paired with an American coming of age story to challenge students to think critically about others’ experiences around the world.

 

Works Cited

Bsharat, Ahlam. Code Name: Butterfly. Trans. Nancy Roberts. London: Neem Tree Press Limited, 2016. Print.

Review of “Wildlife” by Fiona Wood

This is a story told by two adolescent girls both at the age of sixteen who are best friends. The two girls, Lou and Sib, met at a nine-week long wilderness experience where they were assigned to each other as bunkmates along with four other girls their age. Lou, whose full name is Louisa, had a boyfriend that recently died accidentally and she is trying to cope with his loss and try to understand what happened. Sib, or Sibylla, is struggling with her sexuality and is figuring out how to deal with these social pressures. Lou starts out as a very shy private person mostly because she is still grieving her boyfriend. Obviously, this environment is not a very good one that is conducive to privacy so she ends up making a connection with Michael who is Sib’s oldest friend. Sib likes to talk to Michael about her loyalty to her mean and nasty best friend Holly and her infatuation with the school’s golden boy, Ben Capaldi. Ben coming into her life creates a problem for Sib along the lines that she has never been apart of the “popular” students but Ben is. This group has an edge of cruelty that is really not a part of who Sib really is. But this really makes her think about who she really is. She has always been one who just “goes along” with things rather than standing up with what she believes because she really just tries to fit in. This is one thing that being with Ben will make her pay the price for, insensitivity. The next issue with being with Ben is sex. Sib has never had sex and like most teenage girls, it looms largely in her life and she is dead set to cross sex off of her “to-do list.” She mentions:

“…at sixteen, whether you have, or have not, had sex can sometimes feel like the Great Divide. It’s not like friends who used to be close are gone, it’s just that thieve migrated another country.”

Sibs mother is a doctor who actually runs a Sexually Transmitted infections Clinic so Sib is pretty aware of the risks and precautions involved with sex. She actually has a list of facts that her mother made her memorize which she runs through her head when she thinks about having sex. This then makes her think of how her mother would react to her having sex and it probably wouldn’t be good. 

Lou’s sufferings, however, are more of a tortured nature. She is still really missing Fred terribly, who is her deceased boyfriend, and is very worried that even looking at other guys would be cheating on him. She struggles with the idea that she cannot be happy if he is dead. In Wildlife she reasons:

“I love you by remembering you. If I don’t think of you every time there’s something important, then doesn’t that mean you are npc longer important to me? And how can I let that happen when you were so very much the important one to me?”

Lou thinks that Michael is a great person even though he is ignored and even rejected by most of the other kids. Michael though is kind of in love with Sib. We all know that Sib is obsessed with Ben of course though. But, Michael being the good guy he is tries to help Lou with her grieving problem as much as he can which causes Lou’s affection for Michael to grow. Lou is also very concerned about Sib because of the new crowd she has been hanging out with and she wants to save her from their influence that could have a detrimental impact on Sib’s life. Lou finally approaches Sib when a mean kid creates a crisis and she says;

“The only person you should be is yourself. You can’t control perception. All you can control is how you treat someone else.”

This is one of my personal favorite parts of the books because I really love this quote from Lou. 

Wildlife explores many aspects in the story but the two most important are sexuality and grief. The author takes us through the differences between how boys and girls think about sex. Also, Sib learns that sex is an important step and it is according to her own preferences rather than the social pressure of others. Overall the story is very moving and memorable for many people I think that this book did a very good job in presenting the pros and cons of premarital sex with intelligence, understanding, and without didacticism. It also does a great job portraying a teenager grieving a loved on and how they got through it. This book has won a number of ver well-deserved awards, including Book of the Year (Older Readers), Children’s Book Council of Australia. 

Issues of LGBTQ International Literature for Young Adults

For my second blog post I will be writing about the issues of gay and lesbian YA literature around the world. In todays world, sexuality is a huge thing and is talked about all the time. “Although  themes of homosexuality have begun to find their place in international young adult literature, the topic itself still generates controversy,” Amy Elliot wrote in her article. I have read a couple of articles about this and they are saying that some people think that teenagers don’t know the difference between sexuality and sensuality. Teenagers are more understanding of attraction to someone, or to “like” someone. They aren’t concerned about sex or even what it is. Elliot wrote, “some argue that the issue of sexuality in itself exists as a primarily adult
concern projected onto young adult and children’s literature by adults.” I think that some parents are so concerned and weary about their childrens sexuality that they kind of push it onto them. Elliot then mentioned, “many also argue that the international GLBTQ young adult literature is not really “international” enough.” She goes on about saying how it is hard to read other international books because of the different culture and the different languages the books are written in. ” The only reallyaccessible texts American teens see include “Americanized” versions from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada – cultures which are not that different from the English speaking United States.” Another issue that Amy talks about it how people think that international GLBTQ literature is not actually “international” enough. This is because what I was saying earlier that the only international books that Americans read are from the surrounding English speaking countries so the context in the books are similar to that of thye United States. I also find it interesting when Elliot wrote, “. While some GLBTQ young adult texts will make it into college courses, they generally do not appear in younger classrooms and often do not arrive on library shelves either.” YA literature books are written for adolescents by yet they don’t even read these types of books. Just kind of interesting. You can read more about this in Amy Elliot’s article.

 

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrCmmCcLPBbJzsAfhgPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBydDI5cXVuBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM2BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1542495516/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fworks.bepress.com%2famy_elliott%2f1%2fdownload%2f/RK=2/RS=4SC3z.MSHAeQXsBHdrDReFZDdPo-

Hopefully this link works.

The Underappreciation of International YA Literature

For my first blog post I am going to be writng about how international YA literature is under appreciated. I know for a fact that it is hard to find international YA books sometimes becuase when I was trying to find a book to use for my book review I had to look hard. Lucy Nisbet wrote an articel about British literature being under appreciated. In it she said, “I’m constantly surprised by how few British books manage to successfully make their way to publishing houses abroad.” If she were to ask people in America about the books she read, most of them would not have read them. She even mentions this about her friends. She goes on to say how most of the book in stores today are written by American authors which I think is very true. People from different worlds can pick up American books no problem and understand them no problem. Nisbet said, “this is because YA is popular abroad because the books, films and TV shows consumed by teenagers in countries all across the world are saturated in American pop culture.” She is upset because there are countries of which she hasn’t read a book from and she doesn’t think that it’s right. Her reasoning for this is “publishers are still unconvinced that there’s a market for culturally diverse stories.” There are so many other great books in the world that no one even knows about because of how under appreciated Interantional YA literature is. When people think of YA literature books, they are not thinking of Chinese ones or French ones, they are thinking of American ones. I believe that Americans need to start broadening their choice of books to ones that are from other countries. Lucy Nisbet suggests a list of novels that she is particularly fond of from the U.K.

Works Cited

The Underappreciation of International YA Literature