Humor In Young Adult Literature

Humor In Young Adult Literature: A Time To Laugh by Walter Hogan (Scarecrow, 2005). A professional resource book that features chapters on YA humor with regard to: family; friends; bullies; authorities and adversaries; what’s wrong with me?; could this be love?; the ironic perspective; and coming of age: who am I, and what am I going to do about it?

I was just talking about Joan Bauer’s books, which include a great deal of humor (plus related resource links). And of course I’m married to Greg Leitich Smith, a ‘tweener comedy writer. Even my own books, Rain Is Not My Indian Name (Harper, 2001) and Indian Shoes (Harper, 2002), have their share of light moments as does my forthcoming YA gothic fantasy novel. So, I was interested to read Walter’s book and get more of an overview.

Some of my favorite YA humor titles he mentions are: Burger Wuss (Candlewick, 1999) and Thirsty (Candlewick, 1997) by M.T. Anderson; Backwater (Putnam, 1999) and Hope Was Here (Putnam, 2000) by Joan Bauer; Fat Kid Rules The World by K.L. Going (Putnam, 2003); Geography Club by Brent Hartinger (HarperTempest, 2003); Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl (Houghton Mifflin, 2001); Confess-O-Rama by Ron Koertge (Orchard, 1996); Son Of The Mob by Gordon Korman (Hyperion, 2002); Dunk by David Lubar (Clarion, 2002)(read the first chapter); Holes by Louis Sachar (FSG, 1998); How I Spent My Last Night On Earth by Todd Strasser (Simon & Schuster, 1998), and Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster, 1999).

Cynsational News & Links

Interviews with K.L. Going, Brent Hartinger, David Lubar, and Ellen Wittlinger are available on my Web site (use the search engine provided). See also Multicultural Humor, Seriously.

Trivia: (1) I’ll be a guest faculty member at Vermont College, which offers an MFA program in writing for children and YAs, this summer, and Toby Anderson and Ron Koertge also teach there. (2) David Lubar is the most fun person to play with at a teacher/librarian conference. (3) K.L. Going used to be my agent’s assistant. She’s adorable and brilliant! (4) Louis Sachar lives in Austin. I’ve only met him once, though, at the Texas Book Festival. He was there with his daughter and very nice!

I received a note last week, telling me about the joy and excitement my picture book, Jingle Dancer (Morrow/Harper, 2000), has brought to Native children in Washington State. To all of them, I say, keep reading, dancing, and believing in yourselves!

Finally, books I’m watching for lately include: Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, selected by Lori Marie Carlson (Henry Holt, 2005)(by the best-selling anthologist of Cool Salsa). Note: I have a short story coming out in another of Lori’s anthologies, Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today (Harper, 2005).