I've been enjoying this blog series of The Hypothetical Library. With Jennifer L. Knox, Charlie Orr has come up with a YA book, Perplexed by a Porpoise. I like Orr's remark about the hypothetical YA series: "In other words, like all good YA books, they would teach the kids of today the values and skills they will need to navigate the 21st century." Of course, I wouldn't limit that to YA books. Part of the problem of focusing on the pedagogical aspect of children's and YA literature is that we forget that ostensibly adult books likewise provide readers with the values and skills to navigate life in whichever century they happen to be. In fact, sometimes I think the pedagogical aspect of novels for adults is ever more important.
Incidentally, this week, the BSANZ conference, "To Deprave and Corrupt: Hidden and Censored Books," begins. There's a couple of great panels on Friday about children's and YA literature, one of which I'll be chairing.