Saturday, November 8, 2008

"It may be hard to conceive of making the claim about a young adult book, but I believe “Octavian Nothing” will someday be recognized as a novel of the first rank..."
–Sez Jerry Griswold in a piece for the New York Times' Children’s Books Fall Special Issue.

Well, duh.

I can't personally vouch for Volume II since I'm only halfway through, and my hardback copy is heavy enough that my shoulders hurt from lugging it around so I've had to do most of my reading in the bathtub. But the first volume of Octavian Nothing is—according to my rigorous calculations—the award-winningest YA book ever, easily beating the previous record-holder (Monster, by Walter Dean Myers).

And is it really still so hard to imagine that YA fiction can hold its own among literature in general? Still?? Perhaps part of the problem is that this kind of serious literature often gets relegated to the children's section of the paper. This article, for instance, happens to be sandwiched between a review of Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears and one covering new trends in alphabet books.

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