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27 July 2006


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From the article: That such books might keep kids reading is a meager defense. If that's the point, asks Mary Burgess, a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, "Why not have them read cereal boxes?"

First of all, let's not knock cereal boxes. On the back of Froot Loops the kids can find a great way to make a layered art piece using just a glass jar and Froot Loops. Quality stuff out there.

Second of all, umm, keeping kids reading is kind of the, umm, point. And summer reading maybe could be, umm, fun. And maybe libraries might have kind of, umm, thought of this and made the best decision.

Great "dead to me" reference. Watch Colbert Report much?


Thanks so much for linking to this article Leila - and for linking to Jen and Shannon's responses. I just went a little crazy over it at my site. Librarians, and their recommendations, had a huge impact on my life. I can't overstate that enough - huge impact. I don't know what would have happened if I had not been able to read all the sweet and silly stories I wanted before I was ready for the hard stuff. And in the summer? Classics only in the summer?

Wouldn't you like to know what the WSJ writer is reading right now? What are the odds it's a paperback mystery or romance?

But of course he/she is an adult - they are allowed to not be so serious.

Dead to me! WSJ is dead to us all! ha!


Jesus Christ, what a prick. Could he have used "formual fiction" more often? Or more inappropriately? I mean, not that he was trying to hide the fact that he hasn't read any of the books. "The description on the back..."

I mean: poor girl falls in love with rich employer? Formula fiction.
Guy tries to get home and has adventures along the way? Formula fiction.
Poor girl falls in love with rich guy, rich guy falls in love with poor girl, but misunderstandings keep them apart till the very end?

And of course, Black Beauty, Little Women and the Secret Garden were not at all popular in their own day. Nor do they continue to be popular and read or anything.

Damn. I wish you hadn't posted this, I'm really, really mad now.
On the bright side I just escaped from George with: the last (NO!) Bad Girls book, Caddy Ever After and Love Curse of the Rumbaughs.


Hey, the WSJ is the PERFECT SIZE for the bottom of the Parakeet Hilton.


"They put kids into a real comfort zone." Um, isn't that a little of the point? To make kids comfortable reading?


Well, I second the "what a prick" sentiment. And I'm really enjoying his "inspired" choices of Black Beauty and Little Women. Wow, where would you ever dig up those titles? Everything about this article smacks of "copy written to deadline by columnist who's dead inside." Hopefully next week he'll offer some inspired and daring adult reading choices like anything by Ernest Hemingway or John Steinbeck.

Jen Robinson

Love the "dead to me" title of your post. When I think of all of the GREAT children's books that I've read this year alone! We could feel sorry for this guy, who is clearly missing out. If only he hadn't been such a jerk about it. Way to make an enemy of librarians and booksellers everywhere!

Thanks for the link!


I hate to admit this, but I've never actually even SEEN the Colbert Report. We don't have cable, so the only TV shows we see are the ones we Netflix. I'm so lame.

"Poor girl falls for rich employer" -- Yes. Is it Jane Eyre or Maid in Manhattan?

Colleen talks about lame blurbs for good books over at Chasing Ray. Check it out.

Little Willow

As I posted at Tea Cozy, it sounds like, once again, someone wrote an article based on cover art and cover summaries instead of reading the books and truly knowing what they involve.

In a word - OY.

The Colbert Report rocks.

Becky Levine

I'm so glad you commented specifically on Tangerine. I haven't read it, but it's on my shelf--recommended by the wonderful people at Hicklebee's children's bookstore in Willow Glen, California--and they certainly didn't consider it garbage! I was pretty sure the article writer hadn't read it either; now I'm just about positive!

I put my two cents into this issue on my blog: http://beckylevine.livejournal.com The thing that gets me is that this woman talks about fluff and light reading as though they're bad. Let me tell you, I've had an incredibly busy summer, with lots of reading and writing that I had to do. At meals, at bedtime, when I crashed--thank goodness for the wonderfully written fluff of The Princess Diaries series--it's been the best escape I could have had.


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