Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

children’s literature

Monday News: Romance Awareness Month at Open Road, Kindle Worlds a failure?, new children’s author Ben Bailey Smith, and reader-driven school supplies campaign

Monday News: Romance Awareness Month at Open Road, Kindle Worlds a...

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According to Tushnet, a big part of the problem is the creative limits that brand owners impose on the use of their work. In the case of G.I. Joe, for instance, the villain can’t wear a Yankees cap. Characters in other works can’t use drugs or employ profane language. And gay, bisexual or deviant sexual behavior might be off-limits too. –Gigaom

On the subject of fatherhood he is keen not to be “one of those people who says it’s changed me”, but it is touching. “I’m still the same reprobate I always was but I worry now. When you’re a parent you become responsible. And I can’t procrastinate like I used to. If you’ve got time you spend it with your kids and I rarely have time. I thought I understood what love was before I had children but I didn’t. Now I’m constantly concerned about the kids in a way I didn’t think about any girlfriend or even my own parents.” –London Evening Standard

It’s back to school time, but not everyone can afford the supplies needed for school. All profits from this Look Good, Do Good – School Supplies campaign T-shirts will go to the Kids in Need Foundation which provides free school supplies to students and teachers through the Kids in Need National Network of Resource Centers. Find out more here. If we sell 50 shirts, we will send approximately $400 to the Kids in Need Foundation. Come on, let’s show them what readers can do! –Fresh Fiction

Thursday News: Bookstore sales down, Should Twitter users police themselves, reproductive justice and anti-black violence, and screen adaptation of  A Wrinkle in Time

Thursday News: Bookstore sales down, Should Twitter users police themselves, reproductive...

Bookstore Sales Fell 7.9% in First Half of 2014 – For the first half of 2014, retail sales of books fell 7.9% over last year’s first half book sales ($5.10B to $5.54B). This trend is in contrast to retail sales in general, which increased by 3.6%. It also persisted over all six months. –Publishers Weekly

Dealing with the Twitter mob: Would crowdsourcing block lists make things better or worse? – Following Matt Ingram’s article on sites like Twitter in the wake of celebrity deaths, he tackles the issue of how harassment and trolling can be managed on the site. Ignoring the question of whether Twitter profits from such incidents, there are numerous questions and issues to contemplate here, from the question of how legitimate speech is defined within these paradigms, to more basic questions about how such an initiative would function:

Fleishman’s suggestion is that groups of Twitter users collaborate on deciding whom to block — or mute — via third-party apps and services such as The Block Bot, an open-source project that was set up by a group of atheists who found themselves subjected to harassment for expressing their views, as well as Block Together and a third project in the alpha stage known as Flaminga, which would allow friends to share block and mute lists. Fleishman says that Samantha Allen used Block Bot after her experience and liked what she saw (or didn’t see):

“It’s definitely made Twitter more livable for me, at least in the short term. I know that it might end up blocking a handful of people that I wouldn’t otherwise want to block, but when you get the kind of unwanted attention that I regularly receive, you just have to accept that you have to make little sacrifices like that for your piece of mind.” –Gigaom

On Systemic Violence, the Black Body and Reproductive Justice – A really important discussion of reproductive justice and anti-black violence that raises a lot of questions I think a genre like Romance should be contemplating, not only because the genre is so white-centric and aspirational about children (the entitlement of protagonists to have children and raise them in health and happiness as part of a HEA), but also because of the crucial connection between sexual agency and social privilege.

For decades black women have been advocating for the expansion of women’s rights to move beyond the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life dichotomy to encompass our right to health and safety not just during family planning and childbirth but as we raise our children. While mainstream (read: white) activists have focused on the Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life debate, black women realized decades ago that this limiting framework would not work for the complex interactions our bodies, families and communities experience in this society. Young black people like Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, John Crawford, and now, most recently, Mike Brown did not experience RJ. Black fathers like Eric Garner did not experience RJ. Their inability to grow up or parent in safety in this society is an integral part of the struggle for RJ that is often overlooked. –For Harriet

Hell Yes: The Director of Frozen Is Adapting A Wrinkle in Time – Although it’s been a sad, heavy week, here is some uplifting news for fans of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

Great news if you’ve got a glasses-wearing, math-loving girl in your life: Jennifer Lee, the cowriter and director of Frozen, will be adapting beloved O.G. young-adult novel A Wrinkle in Time. You know, the one where pissy, mulish scientists’ daughter Meg Murry goes skipping across space and time to find her missing astrophysicist father. –Jezebel