The Day of Rest: Catching our breaths in the aftermath of VOYA

So.  How was your Sunday?  Mine was great because 1) I didn’t look at social media until late in the evening on Sunday and 2) VOYA didn’t say or do anything offensive and irrational all day Sunday.  So kudos to all of us on that.  

Which isn’t to say there aren’t ongoing developments.  As usual, for those who need to catch up here is our VOYA tag, but let’s hop to the latest.  

So the big news is that bisexual authors Hannah Moskowitz and Anna Elizabeth Mitchell have called for an organized boycott of VOYA within the publishing, literary, and library world.  They are using #boycottvoya to organize.   

They are calling on advertisers and those with financial ties to VOYA to divest.  To my knowledge right now Barry Goldblatt is the only advertiser to make any kind of commitment, but I’ll keep you informed as I hear more.  

Now the biggest backer of VOYA is probably the American Library Association (ALA).  Namely ALA is in bed with VOYA on something called the  Frances Henne Voice of Youth Advocates Research Grant.  It provides $1,000 researchers whose work affirms the mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).  VOYA has also had booth and speaker presence at past and presumably present ALA Conferences and Midwinter Meetings.  I have already seen people lobbying hard at ALA on twitter to cut those ties.  

They have also set up a petition at and as of right now it has 130 signatures.  It reads in part:

The information industry can no longer trust VOYA or the Kurdyla publishing company. This marginalization and bigotry must end.

We are calling on libraries, librarians, library expos, YA authors, YA publishers, and freelance book reviewers to cut all ties with VOYA Magazine and their sister publication Teacher Librarian until RoseMary Ludt, Edward Kurdyla and Lisa Frueh Kurdyla no longer have any professional connection to the magazines.

At this time, I’m still not sure what I want to do.

I want to make clear that Hannah and Anna have my complete and utter respect and support in this.  My reticence to sign this petition shouldn’t be interpreted as a lack of support.  IF YOU FEEL COMPELLED TO SIGN, PLEASE SIGN!  Please share, please talk about this among other book people in your life.  This is important and I hope they gain traction with this.  

But like a lot of librarians who have made teen services my career, I have complex feelings about VOYA.  Yes VOYA does book reviews, but they also do a LOT more.  Even now in the booming age of YA lit, Teen Services librarians within the profession are often the weakest link in the library chain.  There are still a lot of librarians and library directors that hate teens and hire teen librarians to be babysitters to deal with a problem.  There are others that want to serve teens, but struggle with how.  Most MLS programs don’t have dedicated classwork for teen services, most teen services librarians work as the only person in their library serving teens or juggle multiple branches with little support, and there is almost no opportunity for advancement.   You advance in Teen Services by getting out of Teen Services.  

Right now the point of this boycott seems to be to force the current owners, Lisa and Edward Kurdyla out.  I can’t say I disagree with that.  Lisa in particular was HORRIBLE to people on facebook.  VOYA is definitely better off without her.  Boycotts are a great tactic to hit people where it hurts (in the $$$) and force change.  A boycott in the literary/library world could force them out or at the very least force a new direction.  Clearly they don’t listen to well-reasoned internet comments so maybe force is necessary.  

But VOYA serves such a valuable position in the ecosystem, informing and connecting Teen Services librarians.  Should VOYA lose their current funders, what happens to them?  What happens to the librarians that rely on them?   And RoseMary Ludt seems to really be trying.  I don’t know that I want her resignation when she is the only one at VOYA who is actually trying.  I came down on her really hard in my first few posts, but she actually seems to (mostly) be listening and doing the work we asked her to do.  Then again, how much could she actually accomplish with the Kurdyla’s holding the pursestrings?  I don’t know.  

Or maybe I just have a soft spot for VOYA.  Not the VOYA that is now, full of reactionary awfulness and biphobia, but the VOYA I remember discovering like Heather Booth did.  She writes:

Did you know? I asked, Did you know there’s a journal called Voice of Youth Advocates and it’s all about teen services?”

I pored over the articles. In those months overwhelmed by reading assignments, I checked out back issues and read just because. I saw names that I committed to memory. Names of authors to seek out when considering collections. Names of librarians doing good work. Names of libraries with vibrant teen services and spaces. Though I never wrote for VOYA, it felt like it was mine. It was a journal that was solely concerned with the field of librarianship in which I worked. Unlike Booklist or School Library Journal which reviewed YA titles and included some content pertaining to YA librarianship, or the YALSA journal which was connected to ALA and had to hove to the priorities of a larger organization, it had a singular and piercing focus.

It felt a little bit radical.

That VOYA that was a godsend my first few years in the field.  I don’t know this VOYA.  And I honestly don’t know what I want it’s future to be.  

So I’m going to be navel gazing on this for a few days, and talking to my bisexual activist friends once they get back from the White House Summit tomorrow.  (Remember my turd in the punchbowl comment?  Yeah, Bi Week is over but most bi activists are still fucking busy til at least Wednesday).   And the last few days have been such an onslaught that I have barely had time to think.  

I didn’t expect any of this when I made my first snarky post.  I really thought VOYA might act like an ass, issue an apology, some people would forgive and others wouldn’t, and honestly we would all just move on.  I didn’t anticipate VOYA screwing up THIS bad.  I’ve never seen anyone or any organization screw up this bad.  

- Sarah 


hey guys! mod john here with some big news!

october 24th-31st will be jake week part 2 electric boogaloo, plus one extra day for halloween shenanigans 

themes are still in the works, we may bring back a few from the first jake week, and we may have some new ones! 

an official post will be coming soon, so be on the look out for it


Rick’s sunmary: “How do you punish an immortal God? By making him human. After angering Zeus, Apollo is cast down and lands in NYC as a regular teenage boy. Without his godly powers the deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he regains his powers. But he has enemies who would love to destory him. He can think of only one place to go for help: Camp Half Blood


First person POV from Apollo. Every chapter title is a haiku! And the first preview for the book is coming out in April… When he releases a crossover book with the Kane Chronicles and PJO!

China Abandons One-Child Policy

Today, China abandoned its 35 year-old one-child policy. 

Based on the now debunked threat of overpopulation that was popularized by Stanford University scholar Paul Ehrlich, the communist government subjected the Chinese people to forced sterilizations and abortions. Many new-born babies were either killed or left to die. 

Today, the Chinese population suffers from a dangerous gender imbalance that favors boys over girls at a ratio of 117:100, and a demographic implosion that threatens future economic growth and prosperity. 

The one-child policy is a reminder of what happens when governments are allowed to interfere in deeply personal decisions of individual citizens and their families.


David Tennant is returning as the Tenth Doctor alongside Catherine Tate as his companion Donna Noble in three Doctor Who Audio Dramas!

David Tennant portrayed the Doctor on screen from 2005 until 1 January 2010, returning to play alongside Matt Smith and John Hurt in the 50th Anniversary special The Day of the Doctor in 2013. Catherine Tate made her debut as Donna in December 2006, and after a series and two festive specials she made her last appearance alongside David on 1 January 2010. Their on-screen partnership is generally regarded as one of the great high-points of the enduring science fiction phenomenon.

The series opens with Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Technophobia by Matt Fitton, which is set in a London slightly in the future, where mankind is gradually losing its ability to use everyday technology. Could there be an evil force at work?

In Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Time Reaver by Jenny T Colgan the Doctor and Donna arrive on Calibris - ‘An entirely mechanical planet. Catch, hitch, fuel, fix, buy, pretty much any kind of transportation in existence.’ It’s also a world full of scoundrels, where a deadly black market has opened up in a device known only as the Time Reaver.

Finally, in Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Death and the Queen by James Goss, Donna is swept along in a fairytale romance and meets the man of her dreams in the beautiful land of Goritania. What can possibly go wrong? And why has the Doctor never heard of Goritania?

Great news for any Tenth Doctor or Donna Noble fans out there! For more information and to find out where to pre-order, head on over to the Big Finish website


Behold the awesomeness that is Darius, the World’s Largest Rabbit. He’s a Continental Giant rabbit who measures 4 feet 4 inches (1.3m) long and weighs 49 lbs (22.2kg). He won his title back in 2010, but he’s about to be dethroned by his own son. Jeff the giant bunny still has roughly 6 months of growing left to do, but already measures 3 feet 8 inches (1.1m) long.

Both bunnies have very laid-back and friendly temperaments and live with Annette Edwards in her back garden in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. In addition to each eating large dog-sized bowls of special rabbit food each day, the buns make their way through one bay of per week and about 2,000 carrots and 700 apples per year. They’re both so big that, instead of rabbit hutches, Darius and Jeff sleep in German Shepherd-sized dog crates at night.

Edwards is certain that Jeff is soon going to exceed his papa in size:

“As soon as I think he’s made it, he’ll be measured by his vet and then Guinness will certify that he is the biggest rabbit in the world. Even though they’re so big, they are very low upkeep. They really do look after themselves most of the time. They run free in the garden during the day and at night go to sleep in their cosy crates. They never make a mess and actually would be great house rabbits. Although when they start to moult at the end of the summer, they need a good daily brush. And being the world’s biggest rabbit, and his son, they’ve got a giant appetite to match. But it’s actually good for them to be eating hay all day long – to keep their teeth and digestive system healthy.”

Click here to watch a brief video featuring these fantastically huge bunnies.

[via Laughing Squid and The Daily Mail]

The Blinders are back with this new Series 3 still and a premiere screening of S3 Episode 1 and a Q&A at the British Film Institute on May 3 at 8:15 pm.  Tickets go on sale on April 12 at 11:30 am.

Q&A with writer and exec producer Steven Knight, exec producer Caryn Mandabach, actor and exec producer Cillian Murphy and actor Helen McCrory. 
Find out what happens to Brummie gangster Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), and hear from the cast and crew.
China's Enlight Media To Produce 22 Animated Features, Starting With 'Big Fish and Begonia'

“Enlight Media, which is among China’s largest private film companies, has its sights set on becoming a global animation powerhouse, announcing an aggressive plan to produce 22 animated features through a new entity called Coloroom Pictures.

Big Fish & Begonia (大鱼海棠) (2016) | Teaser Trailer

The company held a press conference on Monday to announce the first of these films, Big Fish and Begonia, which will open in China in both 2D and 3D versions on July 8, 2016.

The long-anticipated film has been in the works for over a decade, and was at one time being made through funds from a crowdfunding campaign.

Directed by Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun, the hand-drawn/CG hybrid Big Fish is rooted in Chinese mythology. For years, the directors have been posting clips online to drum up interest in the film, and those clips have gained tens of millions of views in China. That grassroots interest is what compelled Enlight to step in and provide the necessary funds to complete the film. It’s budgeted at 30 million yuan (US$4.6 million).

Other animated films that will be produced under Enlight’s Coloroom Pictures label are:

  • Monkey King: Havoc in Heaven
  • Deep Sea
  • The Legend of the Jade Sword
  • Charlie IX & DoDoMo
  • Dragon Nest, based on a game
  • Fantasy of Journey to the West, based on a game

‘Most Chinese animators have struggled for years,’ said Enlight chairman Wang Chang-tian. 'I believe the improvement in the quality of domestic flicks will give us a Chinese answer to Pixar.’”