I’ve got a few things on my mind this Sunday morning that I want to mention here. The first is that I’ve decided to participate in Iris’s Month of Dutch Literature challenge for June. A few years ago I traced the genealogy of my paternal grandmother and discovered that my ancestors on that side of the family had immigrated to New York from the Netherlands way back in the early days of European settlement in NY. Pretty cool! So, I feel a special affinity with the Dutch and will give at least one book a go. As my library system only carries two books that have been translated from Dutch my choice will be quite narrow, but easily made!

Also on my mind is the appallingly narrow-minded article on YA literature that was published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Many YA authors and teen readers have offered their opinions and rebuttals of this article on Twitter. If you’re interested in following the debate search for #YAsaves on Twitter. My own opinion is that every family and kid is different. Why keep books out of the hands of teens just because you don’t feel they are appropriate for your family or child? There are some teens who have experiences that others won’t face and they need literature that reflects their experience and gives them hope. I also don’t think it is wrong for teens to satisfy their curiosity about the dark side of life by turning to books. Adults do it every day! Does that make us all deviant sociopaths? Parents are very involved at my library and are fully aware of what their kids are reading. Most of them monitor the content of the YA literature their teens choose. And that is their right. But it is not my job or inclination to limit access to any books that teens are drawn to. That same kid may come into the library without their parent and ask for Ellen Hopkins books. I’ll take them right to the shelf where they are (though most of them will be checked out). As a professional librarian I am not going to deny them the right to read what they want. Librarian does not equal parent. Phew, okay so that is my two cents! What do you all think? I’d love to hear the opinion of any parents out there.

The Wallow fire from Alpine, AZ

Also on my mind, but completely un-book related is the massive wild fire that is blazing through eastern Arizona right now. Called the Wallow Fire it is 0% contained and has already consumed 184,000 acres of forest. The towns of Alpine and Nutrioso have already been evacuated and the town of Greer is on an evacuation warning. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins live in the town of Springerville which is about 30 miles from where the fire is currently burning. Their area is covered with a orange hazy smoke and the residents are starting to panic. I feel so frustrated that man is so ineffective against a raging fire like this. Please keep the citizens of these towns in mind today.

Those are my thoughts this interesting Sunday morning. What is concerning/interesting/annoying you today? Have a good Sunday, all!

9 Comments

  1. Hello, & nice to meet you :). I love the story of your ancestry. I always wish my family tree was more exciting, featuring immigration and everything, but I do not think it does. I am glad to hear you will be participating. And I hope you enjoy the book you picked. Two titles does seem very little, but then, the Netherlands is a small country so I guess it makes sense.

    • I’m excited to start, Iris! Thanks for hosting this project and introducing us to a whole new world of literature.

  2. I just wish I could get my teens to read! As a teen I went through a stage of reading ghostly/gory/horror fiction just to enjoy the thrill of being frightened! I don’t think it should be censored. Thoughtful post.

  3. Hey! Just in case you didn’t see already, I’m shutting down The Zen Leaf. I’m contacting all the people who signed up for the 52-52-52 Challenge to let them know. I’m still continuing on with the challenge, but it will be at my tumblr account (http://agignac.tumblr.com) rather than at The Zen Leaf.

  4. great see you joining Iris on dutch month hope you get some books ,all the best stu

    • I’m looking forward to the Dutch literature reading though I am having a really tough time finding titles. I might have to try a library in another city.

  5. It never occurred to me to police the books which my sons were reading when they were young. I worried that the eldest wouldn’t read any fiction unless he absolutely had to for school, it didn’t seem to do him any harm though. He likes reading non’fiction. I haven’t read anything by Dutch authors although I have Dutch links by marriage as my eldest brother married a Dutch woman and has lived there most of his life now. I hope your relatives are all safe now, I haven’t heard anything about this terrible fire on the news.

    • It never occurred to my parents either and I think I am a better reader for it. They let me read whatever I liked as a teen and I don’t think I turned out so bad!

%d bloggers like this: