"When I go to book stores now, I run into tons of twelve and thirteen-year-olds hauling stacks of books written by women about female protagonists to the cash register. When I go to the library, they haunt the same bookshelves. These girls are growing up with a vision of the world that tells them their stories matter. They are superheroes. They are smart, strong, magickal, powerful, capable. Their voices are worth hearing, and as a consequence, they will themselves demand to be heard.
In ten or fifteen years, these girls will graduate from college and enter the workforce. They will have careers and incomes and purchasing power. And their experiences with these books will tell them that their stories deserve time and exploration. Their adventures are every bit as important as their male counterparts. Their lives are valuable. Their knowledge is powerful.”
I do believe that’s why we hear so much yelling about YA—because so much of it is for girls, by girls, about girls, and surely it must be silly and that’s wrong (never mind Transformers, silly stuff FOR LADIES is very wrong), and anyway stop it, it’s all bad. In Joanna Russ’s words ‘She wrote it but she shouldn’t have. She wrote it, but look what she wrote about… She wrote it, but she isn’t really an artist and it isn’t really art… She wrote it BUT…’
I wrote it, and I’m really proud to be on that list. I read it—Diana Wynne Jones, Margaret Mahy, Robin McKinley and L.J. Smith, all before I was sixteen—and it let me know I could write it. I’m still writing it and still reading it: high five.