‘Net News: 16th July 2012

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1. The Rise of Apoca-lit

Great article on the apocalypse trend in YA. While The Hunger Games are raking in the recognition at the moment, the article provides a great YA apocalyptic book list for all your students asking ‘what next?’

2. Comics and The Classroom: Supporting Female Students

Matt, over at Books and Aventures, has a great discussion post on engaging female students with comic books. He picked some specialists in the field (including our very own Adele Walsh), and asked some really great  questions.

Louie Stowell (children’s writer) made a really great point about the value of comic books in furthering literacy skills.

I think that in all the panic about literacy, it’s often forgotten that visual literacy is a valuable skill in itself. Narrative is narrative, whether it’s embodied in words or images, or both.

3. The YA Cover Trend: Do Teens Judge a Book by its Cover?

To keep the classics in vogue several publishers have been revamping their classic lines. This started a few years ago with Twilightesque covers for Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice (Bella’s ‘favourite’ books). The trend hasn’t really slowed down any. What’s interesting is that it’s working. The teen market is finding the new covers to be accessible to them. At least to buy, but does this translate into reading? Does lining up old world romances, such as Jane Eyre, with YA paranormal romance really send the right message? Is it setting up the reader for disappointment? Or does the quality of tales such as Romeo and Juliet and Dracula win out?

4. Text Prize Shortlist

The contenders are Zac and Mia, a contemporary novel that deals with serious illness and friendship, Heart of Brass, a historical sci-fi with a very unique protagonist, and Painting Phantoms, set in the Australian bush it is highly on adventure and thrill.

5. MIFF and the Bully Documentary.

Bully is a documentary, by award winning Lee Hirsh, about the epidemic of peer bullying in America. After a MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) recommended rating of R, the film makers rejected the rating and released it into cinemas unrated. Although not heard of, this was a rare and bold move on the part of the Bully film makers.

Why the rejection? The documentary is about children bullying other children, and the R rating meant that it would not be screened in American middle and high schools.

Bully will be showing at Palace Cinemas around Australia (as well as Cinema Nova in Melbourne) from August 23.

MIFF is also doing a special schools event with it.

6. Castlemaine Children’s Literature Festival

For all of you in the area, Castlemaine will be hosting their festival between the 1-7th of October.

7. YA and Swearing

Do we need ratings (much like the movies) within the YA genre? Or is the argument we’re not teaching them anything new, hold true?

8. Party Time

Princes Hill (Carlton North) Secondary School are hosting the launch of Trust Me Too. There will be several authors in attendence, including Isobelle Carmody, Marc McBride, Leigh Hobbs, Kirsty Murray and David Miller.

The launch is free and will be on the 27th of July at 6:00pm.

Please RSVP by the 20th of July to fordstr@internode.on.net

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