Sarcastic yet likable. We love a female protagonist with a sarcastic, kick ass attitude in contemporary YA.
It’s our 500th post, and we wanted to bring you something special, so how about the state of the art in medieval anti-book-theft devices: the chained binding. Manuscript books were expensive to make and difficult to replace, so naturally, it was important to have good security. In a chained library, an iron clasp was screwed into the wooden boards binding the book. A chain ran from that clasp to a bar along the shelf on which a number of books were housed, shelved with the fore-edges out (note the title written on this book’s fore-edge in the third picture). Original chained bindings rarely survive today, but remarkably an entire chained library is preserved at Hereford Cathedral.
Cartagena, Alonso de, 1385?-1456. Lectura arboris genealogiae regum Hispaniae : & specialiter in recta linea Regum Castellae et Legiois : manuscript, 
Houghton Library, Harvard University
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Become a feminist."
Betsy Hearne - “Beauty and the Beast - Versions and Revisions of an Old Tale” (via corseque)
We are always writing the other, we are always writing the self. We bump into this basic, impossible riddle every time we tell stories. When we create characters from backgrounds different than our own, we’re really telling the deeper story of our own perception. We muddle through these heated discussions at panels, in comments sections, on social media, in classrooms — the intersections of power and identity, privilege and resistance. How do we respectfully write from the perspectives of others? Below are 12 guidelines to get you started.
One of the best articles I’ve read on the subject. I want to hand this out at every art & diversity panel I speak on. Seriously.
READ THIS. Before you write another flat, stereotype driven PoC. Read this.
Probably one of the best articles I’ve seen in a while.