By: Allyson Mower
One of the most frequently challenged titles on ALA’s annual list includes Lauren Myracle’s Internet Girls series. The challenges stem from opinions about the books’ sexually explicit content. But in Myracle’s opinion, the challenges may come more from the fact that the books are written in the language of instant messaging, which she thinks adults don’t fully appreciate as literary style. Instant messaging is kind of a foreign language and unfamiliarity can be its own source of fear and distancing so Myracle may be onto something, in my opinion. Her take on the frequency of challenges comes from an excellent interview with her in The Daily Beast by Abigail Pesta.
But let’s focus on celebrating a great author! Myracle was born in North Carolina and studied English, psychology, and creative writing obtaining degrees from the University of North Carolina and Colorado State University. She holds an MFA from Vermont College. Her books have been on New York Times bestseller lists and she gets regular fan mail from readers of her young adult series letting her know how impactful her books are to them. Myracle writes about the struggles of teenagehood in the internet age and the range of bad decisions that can get made (and, unfortunately, fully documented and preserved). Her characters are compelling by virtue of both their at-times shallowness and their devotion to the ideals of friendship. Myracle is a prolific writer with several chapter books as well as titles in middle grade in addition to her young adult titles.
Myracle’s take on reading, which gets discussed in the interview linked above, is very refreshing and something that all librarians could benefit from as a refresher. (Especially the librarian who said she wouldn’t carry Myracle’s books!) I look forward to introducing my nieces and nephews to the canon of Lauren Myracle. Best wishes for a happy birthday, Lauren!
Allyson Mower, MA, MLIS is Head of Scholarly Communication & Copyright at the University of Utah Marriott Library. She’s very curious about curiosity, what drives people to uncover information, and how libraries of all types create demand for knowledge. As a tenured faculty member, she researches the history of academic freedom — a kind of intellectual freedom — and the history of authorship and scholarly communication at the institution. She provides the U of U community and the general public with information, tools, and services related to both copyright and publishing. Allyson was a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2008, was nominated as a 2012 Society for Scholarly Publishing Emerging Leader, and served as the U of U Academic Senate President in 2014. Find her on Twitter @allysonmower.