School Library Journal's article on where to shelve The Graveyard Book ignores the real issues and instead tries to stir up controversy.
The stirred-up controversy: because The Graveyard Book starts with the murder of Bod's family, fearful librarians shelve the book in YA to protect the children. Think of the children!
Remember, a few posts back, I mentioned how important it is to discuss how we define terms?
As Roger Sutton also points out, there are two questions to ask:
What age/grade is the book for?
Where do books for that age/grade get shelved in your library?
SLJ notes that The Graveyard Book is reviewed by SLJ as Grades 5 to 8. Roger adds that The Horn Book reviewed it as Grades 6 up.
So the next question is, logically, where do you put a book for these ages?
Guess what -- Young Adult can start at 12 in some libraries. I'm on the NJLA YA Section; Garden State Teen Book Award list has a list for Grades 6 to 8, reflecting that, in New Jersey at least, many YA librarians serve Grade 6 up.
Logic shows that for some libraries, YA is the right place. And it's for valid reasons. And this isn't the only book where libraries make this judgment call; any book reviewed Grades 5 to 8 raise this question, with the library using a variety of factors to decide, if the book straddles library age ranges, where does it go?
So, as my final question.... since SLJ infers that a murder in a book means that librarians will place a book in YA, no matter what, what other books for children include murders?
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, even when abridged, has a murder.
I seem to recall another book that begins with parents being murdered; oh, yeah, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
So, what ones can you think of? Double points for any book that is considered a classic!
So, what other children's books contain a murder?
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