Typically, I’m not too picky a reader. This is directly tied to my job as a reading interventionist, and the need to know what good YA is out there in order to make good recommendations to my students. Which means that I’ve lost sight of my specific personal reading preferences because I find that I’ve enjoyed texts that I didn’t think I would. But if I could wish for anything, here goes
10. More novels about the variety in trans* experience. Even within conversations in the LGBT community, I feel like trans* people are portrayed a single way, where that’s not really the case. Kristin Elizabeth Clark’s Freakboy (which I’ve talked about a number of times) is a step in the direction I want to see novels about the trans* experience go.
9. This isn’t so much a novel request as a publisher request: bring more novelists of color to the fore. There has been a lot of conversation about how publishers reward authors who do well with a larger promotion budget, but it seems like it’s cyclical. So big sellers get more advertising, so those authors people buy. Which in turn means that unknown authors remain unknown, and that’s unfortunate.
8. Characters who critically examine stereotypes. I was reading The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer, which is a novel many of my female students who are Hispanic/Latiina/Mexican-identified really like. They feel like they see themselves in the story. This is all well and good, but older readers have criticized the novel, suggesting that all it does is stereotype the experience of the Mexican-American family.
7. A scary book that is truly scary. The first Skeleton Creek novel by Patrick Carman did it for me, but I know it was the multimedia component that made that novel scary. I haven’t been scared of something that I’ve read since I read It by Stephen King. Particularly not scared while reading YA.
6. Another novel that will draw me in as much as The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern did. As soon as I finish the Daughter of Smoke and Bone audio, I’m going back to The Night Circus because I love it so much.
5. Not another dystopian novel.
4. Or zombies.
3. Or angels who fall in love with demons (yes, I know Daughter of Smoke and Bone falls into this category. I love the series. Leave me alone.)
2. This one is directed at distributors: I want some explanation about how the book selections for stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target are made. I’m really curious about why the books that are selected are those that are selected. I fear we may fall into a cyclical problem again where it is explained that the selected books are those that the people will read, but in a town where Wal-Mart and Kmart (we don’t have a Target) and the only booksellers, what other options do the people have?
1. The bottom line… my absolute, number 1 wish as a reader is that writers keep telling stories. As long as they keep writing, I’m going to keep reading (though to be honest, they could stop writing and I’d still be reading until I die… So many books…)
What are your reading wishes? Leave them in the comments and I’ll see you there soon.