The Censorship of Noise

Book Glut, "Bookride"

Book Glut, “Bookride”

To continue the “Here’s a question” series, I wanted to talk about an essay by Lester Asheim, the former dean of the University of Chicago graduate library school, and president of the ALA, noted the practical similarity between gatekeepers like librarians and editors, and censors. He explores the question of why we call the people with whom we agree “curators” and those with whom we disagree, “censors.”

My post evolved when I thought of Asheim’s essay in light of digital books. To me, it seems to flip his rubric for how we decide what makes a “censor.”

Here’s the full post. The question was: Does the digital era flip our definition of censorship?

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What Can Save May Also Harm?

realview

I decided to start a series over on the CBC Diversity blog called, “Here’s a question,” because during our meetings, I sometimes raise my hand and say exactly that. I do try to emphasize the question, because I’m not particularly interested in proscribing answers.

For this first post, I ask the question: Do YA authors, editors, and librarians promote the idea that YA books have the power to do good, but reject the idea that they can do harm?

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How I Got Into Publishing

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Last year, I joined the newly created Diversity Committee of the Children’s Book Council. I’m sure I’ll talk more about it, but for now, I wanted to cross post a few pieces I did for the blog.

I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the committee. I had never met the other members (frankly, they’re ALL above my pay grade). Already, I think of them as friends.

Here’s my first post, about how I got into publishing.

Here’s the first line: When I came to the United States at the age of eight, I spent a lot of time in the library because I needed to learn English, and because none of the neighborhood kids knew yet how awesome I was at Nintendo.

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School Visits!

I am SO excited to unveil my School Presentation. This is the interactive dog & pony show I do at schools whenever I speak about storytelling conventions and genre writing. I hope you like it! Obviously, if you’re a teacher, I’d love to present this at your school! My email is easy to find if you’re not a spam bot (pssst, it’s below).

It’s got lots of a swirly motion, and videos, and stuff. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll take some Dramamine.

Lemme know what you think. I’m starting the school visit tour this week.

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Biblioklept Interview

Had a great time interviewing with Biblioklept. Somehow I let this inappropriate gem about the censorship issue get past my own internal censors:

“I think both sides of the argument are often concern-trolling-—one side saying kids shouldn’t hear the f-word, and the other side screaming censorship to the culling of anything short of snuff-porn.”

Read the rest, here.

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Why Did I Write a Cell Phone Novel?

I’ll tell you why. In early 2008, I read an article in the NY Times that coincided with my own growing interest in the cell phone novel phenomenon in Japan. You have to understand, I’m that guy in my friend group who comes out with random statements like, “You know, I was reading that Red Bull is really big in Dubai, because it gets you hooped up, but it doesn’t break Islamic law against alcohol.” And all my friends smile and nod.

I feed off of this sort of trivia…the odd passions of cultures and subcultures. They are
neatly arranged on my mental shelves next to my collections of sports jargon and the
language I created on Steno pads when I was kid (I assure you, I was extremely well-
liked by my peers). Continue reading

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Alison Bechdel

An interview of Alison Bechdel about her process–which seems to be part shaman, part craftsman. She’s a fascinating creator.

Here’s the original link. Interview by Hilary Chute.

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