Everyone loves serials these days. You might blame this on television, what with so many of us stuck inside with Netflix, bleary-eyed from binge-watching the latest imported telenovela (sapopera if you’re watching Scandi-noir; merodorama if it’s a nice juicy anime series). But TV series deserve no credit for inventing series characters. Back in the 16th century, traveling theatre troupes performed commedia dell’arte for … Continue reading KRIMES FOR KIDS: Two Series of Unfortunate Events!
Let me take you back to a meeting held one year ago in the editorial offices of Scholastic Books: Editor: Ladies, I fervently believe that the YA dystopian novel has not burned itself out yet! Even in these unsettled times, young people are spoiled and complacent. They love to read about worlds where adults have … Continue reading YOU TAKE DYSTOPIA, I’LL TAKE DAT TOPIA: Pondering the Hunger Games Prequel
With Thunderhead, the second novel in his Arc of a Scythe trilogy, author Neal Shusterman continues to put a damper on the notion of immortality. C’mon, people! Did you think that if we ended war and want (and government – we don’t need that anymore!) and came up with the technology to install microscopic nanites into … Continue reading THUNDERHEAD, or How YA Dystopian Fiction Helped Me Escape the GADoldrums
I have spoken before in this space about how every spring I twist my drama students’ arms offer my drama students a wonderful opportunity to create their own GAD-styled mystery plays! or else! This year is no exception. After whetting their script-writing whistles on the Peter Ustinov version of Evil Under the Sun (nobody in either class … Continue reading HONING YOUNG MINDS . . . TO MURDER!!!!!! – The 2019 Mystery Project
Alright, I’ll admit it: this GAD mystery lover needs a little break. I could tell something was happening as I watched the stack of books beside my bed grow taller and taller. These are the one that I’ve removed from my veritable TBR Tower of Babel and am “actually" reading, yet each of them has … Continue reading YA DYSTOPIAN DIVERTISSEMENT
If you were with us yesterday, Encyclopedia Brown had to find out who robbed Mr. Thurlow’s bookstore . . . even if it meant bringing in his best friend!!! Here’s the solution! Mrs. Brown, in a fresh starched apron and carrying a plate of freshly baked chocolate cinnamon raisin dreams, greeted her weary menfolk as … Continue reading ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN FINDS THE SOLUTION
Like every major metropolitan newspaper, the Idaville Gazette had a book reviewer. Bernice Sturgess, whose son Cicero was Idaville’s leading child actor, wrote a column that appeared every Thursday. Her tastes ran to romance authors and non-fiction, so it was no surprise when a review appeared for a book called 100 Greatest Literary Detectives. The town’s … Continue reading THE WORLD’S BEST LITERARY DETECTIVE . . . JR.
“Yesterday we were murder suspects with complicated personal lives, but today we’re just being girls.” The princess. The jock. The nerd. The criminal. The outsider. What a tangled, profitable web these teen stereotypes have woven! Director John Hughes staked most of his film career on stories about princesses loving jocks (Sixteen Candles), nerds loving princesses … Continue reading ONE OF US IS LYING: GAD Alive and Not-So-Well in YA
Well, what do you know? Today marks my second anniversary as a blogger. Words fail me (really, Brad?!?) in trying to express how much fun I’ve been having sharing my thoughts, mostly on classic mysteries (but occasionally touching on theatre, films and even some real world stuff) and trading ideas with so many brilliant people. … Continue reading LOOK AT ME, I’M TWO!
If you would like to chuckle at some delightful auto-biographical data and general ranting about these kids today, start at Section A. If you would like to skip that crap and get down to business, turn to Section B. SECTION A Is there any story more infuriating or delicious than Frank R. Stockton’s “The Lady … Continue reading CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?