YA for Obama

It's interesting how YA authors don't talk about politics.

Sex, drugs, rock n roll, rape, incest, self-harm, even occasionally religion. Fine. Bring it on!

But politics? Irresponsible. Swaying the impressionable minds of the young. Just Not On.
But this year it's different. Here's Scott Westerfeld:
Since we've started YA for Obama, a few folks have asked, "How dare we?" As in, how dare we muddy our special duties as tribunes of youth with something as icky as politics.

We answer: "But our books are all about sexuality, racism, the future, who's got money and who hasn't, and figuring out your place in the world. What could be more political than that?"

They say: "Yeah, but those are all pleasantly fuzzy moral issues, which teens should be thinking about. But YA for Obama is about real politics---like, it contains the names of actual politicians. And that's just too . . . specific!"

YA for Obama* is a social network for authors of Young Adult literature, and their readers. It provides information about the candidates, strategies for helping out, and opinion essays from authors such as Judy Blume, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, John Green, Lauren Myracle, Cecil Castellucci, Sara Zarr, Gossip Girl's Cecily von Zeigasar and Maureen Johnson, the mastermind behind the site.

The idea behind the site is - just because you're under 18, doesn't mean you can't make a difference. And it seems to be working. The site has nearly 1300 members, all contributing tips and strategies, from transporting seniors and people without cars to polling booths on election day, to letter-writing campaigns, to (shock horror) talking to your family about how they will use their vote.

You don't have to be an author to join. You don't have to be a teenager. You don't have to be American. You just have to care. And it also helps if you think that the free world shouldn't be run by a zombie and a moose-hunting beauty queen who can see Russia from her house.

Here's Scalzi on whether or not authors should talk about politics. And here's Paolo Bacigalupi. And here (in case you were wondering on where I stand on this issue) is a video of John McCain referring to his fellow Americans as his "fellow prisoners". That slippery Freud!

*for those who are curious: yes, there is a YA for McCain. It has five members.