Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

Octavian Nothing, that is, when Publisher's Weekly interviews M.T. Anderson.

I swear to y'all I am not getting a kickback for linking to PW (like they even notice any traffic I send their way; pfsh!), there's just been good stuff lately, or at least comment-worthy stuff.

I read The Pox Party (Octavian Nothing 1) and got an ARC of The Kingdom on the Waves (Octavian Nothing 2) at BEA in May. My reading habits being what they are, I didn't get to it until November. I finished it November 4th, in fact. In the evening, after the news spread throughout the land. Wow.

I don't plan stuff like this. Sometimes this just happens, like the day that Meg Cabot's Valentine Princess turned up at the top of my queue being, actually, Valentine's Day.

Anyway, enough about me. Interview. Quotage of note:
I’ve heard from one or two adults saying, “Are you sure this is appropriate for kids?,” but I think people don’t always give teens credit for how well they read. And not just looking up words they don’t know—they skip over words they don’t know, just like adults do. . . . And consider that kids read fantasy books, which in many cases have invented vocabulary. . . . Kids who are reading that are building a language in their heads. There’s no real cognitive difference. I think kids are excited by language, and they’re not always given credit for that.
Interesting. I have to admit that's one of the things that stopped me from booktalking as widely as I might have, wondering whether the 18th century prose would block them. He says elsewhere, though, that he has kids of 11 or 12 reading this book.

Do they get every subtle shading, every issue that's touched upon? Probably not. But maybe this is where they can start to grapple with them.


A.S. King said...

Thanks for the link. I'm reading Pox Party now (finally) and loving it. I have no doubt kids as young as 11-12 are loving it too. As a young adult, I looked for books that held some sort of challenge or seemed different. This book would have been *perfect* for the teen-me!

Christine Fletcher said...

I loved Pox Party, am eager to read Kingdom of the Waves. I remember reading books WAY too old for me when I was in MG...those were the books I went back to a few years later and re-read, and it was like discovering a new world inside the old one I thought I knew. I still remember how it felt like magic! The younger kids reading Octavian may have the same experience.