A mother’s attempt to ban Anne Frank’s diary from classrooms in Michigan over “pornographic” anatomical descriptions has failed, after a committee ruled that the title’s removal “would effectively impose situational censorship”.
Johnson started out with an idle musing on Twitter: “I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says: ‘Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it – signed, A Guy.’”
She pointed to one of her own covers as an example – showing, on a neon pink background, an image of an attractive teenage girl displaying part of her stomach, with the words “a novel” in a dark pink heart. “This is The Key to the Golden Firebird. It’s about three sisters who are dealing with the sudden death of their father. May, the middle sister, is trying to hold her family together and learn how to drive. This is the cover,” said Johnson.
She was inundated with support, prompting her to ask her fans to redesign books by male authors, imagining them as by and for female readers. “Take a well-known book … Imagine that book was written by an author of the opposite gender. Or a genderqueer author. Imagine all the things you think of when you think girl book or boy book or genderless book (do they exist?). And I’m not saying that these categorisations are right – but make no mistake, they’re there,” Johnson urged.
You can check out responses to Johnson’s challenge at:
Suddenly, it seems like gay characters are everywhere in Y.A. literature. Or, if not everywhere, certainly in far more places and in a greater variety than ever before. Perhaps the most eye-catching recent example, which preceded Time’s controversial new issue, is David Levithan’s upcoming Two Boys Kissing—and its cover with, yes, two boys kissing. But beyond the covers, plots involving LGBT characters are twisting and turning and emerging anew from the traditional coming-out story of years past.
When I first read Lord of the Flies at school in Tasmania 50 years ago, I thought – as most boys probably do – that it was simply telling me the story of my life. That life had been short, and quite a bit of it was nasty and brutal. An hour in a school playground is an education in the bestiality of young males, who instinctively form packs and taunt those who don’t conform or – in a variant of the war-whooping chant repeated by the boys in William Golding’s novel as they hunt wild pigs on their desert island – bash them up. As children and adolescents, we have an intimate acquaintance with evil. We spend our days either committing acts of violence or recoiling from them; hatred surges through our undeveloped bodies like an electric curren
They’ve turned my 2003 gay teen novel GEOGRAPHY CLUB into a movie. It’ll be released later this year, and people have already started asking me how it all happened and what I’ve learned from the whole experience.
My current work, The Pink and Blue Projects are the topic of my thesis. This project explores the trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children (and their parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization and identity. The work also raises other issues, such as the relationship between gender and consumerism, urbanization, the globalization of consumerism and the new capitalism.
Readers, we cannot describe how excited we are for Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan’s follow-up to Every Day. Let’s just say it involves many exclamation points and maybe even a little fangirl squealing. Alas, Two Boys Kissing, which centers around two teenage boys who attempt to break the Guinness World Record for longest kiss, is still months away from publication, but fortunately we’ve got an exclusive peak at the beautiful cover, which surprisingly features… two boys kissing! Check it out below, then read our interview with Levithan.