Friday, October 23, 2009

CORA Diversity Roll Call

CORA Diversity Roll Call, co hosted by Ali @ Worducopia and Susan @ Color Online. Earlier this week (this is a tad late) Susan asked Roll Call participates to address The Problem Novel.

I really like problem novels. They are a reflection of reality. Though I like to think of them as realistic fiction not problem novels. Authors of problem novels just need to remember they're writing a story not a cautionary tale filled with lessons. Some of my favorite problem novels are.

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Chess Rumble by G. Neri and Jesse Joshua Watson
Bird by Zetta Elliott and Shadra Strickland
Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith and E. B. Lewis

All of the titles are young adult except for Chess Rumble and Bird which are middle grade fiction. Thirteen Reasons Why and Bird are the only titles in which the main characters aren't the ones going through something but rather trying to understand. In Thirteen Reasons Why, its suicide and Bird - its a siblings drug addiction. Five out of the eight of these titles are in verse. I think that speaks to the truth of poetry.


Jodie said...

Impulse sounds pretty good, I'll look out for that.

Anonymous said...

When I think of "problem novels" I typical think of YA. So, I was surprised at first to see "Chess Rumble" and "Bird" on your list. They certainly do belong there!

I was in a bookstore yesterday and was surprised to see a shrinking YA section and a growing children's section. Many things about how they divided these and the contents of each. I was ready to sum up YA as the problem novel area. I'll have to re-think that now! Hopefully, they will too. They've put Drama High in childrens!!

Doret said...

Jodie -I loved Impulse

Van Draanen's Runaway is YA but would work nicely for an MG reader

Our YA section and children's for that matter are the few areas that are getting more books. I am just glad I can read other peoples reviews so I won't feel like I have to read everything.

Zetta said...

Thanks for including BIRD, Doret! I'm still sort of unclear about "problem novels," and like that you pointed out the lack of "preachiness" in your selected books...most novels ARE about problems, right? I don't see how that's a bad thing b/c a lot of young readers are facing challenges in their lives...