Ever since the summer, I have been trying to contact Meghan Cox Gurdon, the children’s book reviewer for The Wall Street Journal. Why? Because she gave a speech at Hillsdale College, published in the college newsletter, in which she made “The Case for Good Taste in Children’s Books.” In it she discussed “the increasingly dark current that runs through books classified as YA, for Young Adult–books aimed at readers between 12 and 18 years of age–a subject that has, in the four decades since Young Adult became a distinct category in fiction, become increasingly lurid, grotesque, profane, sexual, and ugly… too many books for adolescents act like funhouse mirrors, reflecting hideously distorted portrayals of life.”
And so on, amen.
But when she discusses what she thinks YA fiction ought to be–well, the only way she could get anything closer to that standard than my Bell Mountain series would be to write it herself.
Naturally, I want to get my books into her hands. I’m confident she would like them a lot. But this is precisely what I am unable to do.
None of my contacts have any contact with her, so I haven’t been able to find anyone to drop a word for me into her ear. As for initiating contact myself–well, as Zacherley used to say, “Ha, ha, HAH!”
Every week I get dozens of emails inviting me to read and review books I never heard of. Meghan Gurdon must get thousands of them. So, although I have sent her emails, the chances approach zero that she will ever see them, much less wind up answering.
Having been a reporter of one kind or another for going on 40 years, I can truthfully say that media bigwigs are the most insulated people in the world. If I wished to interview a governor or a senator or a cabinet secretary, I could do it. It might take some time, but I would get that interview. But with Meghan Cox Gurdon, I can’t get my foot in the door. I’m just another faceless fan in a sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium, way up in the bleachers.
Somehow I need to achieve this impossible thing. I haven’t found a way to do it yet, and it’s driving me nuts.
There has to be a way…