Friday, July 23, 2010

Notes on PK month

I'm going to take this opportunity to do a little housecleaning, starting with a warning:

Even if you've scheduled a bunch of posts in advance, you shouldn't just leave your blog alone for weeks at a time assuming that everything is going along as planned.

I didn't mean to leave a week and a half post-less! I also didn't mean to post almost a month's worth of PK book reviews with no explanations! So here we go, the post that I thought was scheduled for July 1st and an (almost) wrap-up all in one:

Earlier this summer, I made an epic library trip, the kind where you pick up a million holds AND a pile of stuff off the displays as well. When I got home and was organizing my loot into piles, I realized that I'd managed to pick up 3 very different books featuring PKs (Pastor or Preacher's Kids). Apparently even though actual PKs might be a very small part of the YA population, books about them aren't all that rare. Having a main character (or really important secondary character) whose family life revolves around the church can make for an easy entry into discussing religion without always moving into the realm of Christian fiction or the "problem" novel. After reading The Full Spectrum, a book of short autobiographical pieces by queer youth in which religion kept coming up as a central theme, I was interested in looking at how religion is treated in fiction written by adults for teenagers. Looking for books about PKs seemed like a good way to do that. Plus, July was coming up. My mom's birthday is in July, and she's a PK.

So July will be [has been] PK month here at lucy was robbed. I think I've managed to find a good range of books featuring PKs, including a paranormal romance and a dystopian novel as well as a slew of realistic fiction works. My reviews of these books [have and] will look more closely at the way that religion is presented in relation to the subject matter of the book as well as how the main characters' views on religion change throughout the course of the story. Religion can be such a touchy subject. By the time readers are teenagers, most of them know not to discuss it in mixed company (no politics or religion, right?), but that doesn't mean that they don't have questions about and struggles with the religion in which they've been raised or the religion they may be adopting. YA novels can be a great tool to open up discussion about religion or to just let teen readers know that they are not the only ones dealing with these issues. I know that I am looking forward to dissecting these books a little bit, and I hope you [have] enjoy[ed] looking through these books with me!

And Happy Birthday Mom! :)

Here is the list of books that I have reviewed for PK month:
Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
Simply Divine by Jacquelin Thomas
Nothing Pink by Mark Hardy
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
Bad Faith by Gillian Philip

I realize that this list has all Christian protagonists (or they at least have Christian parents). I did make an effort to find books about the PK equivalent in other religions, but was unsuccessful. That doesn't mean that books like Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah are not on-deck to be read/reviewed in the near future; they just didn't fit for PK month.

Thanks for sticking around, folks, and sorry for the week plus of silence!

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