105 Ways to Give a Book

BACA Off

From a post at Big A, little a, I find that Madonna has a line of children’s clothes based on her book The English Roses. That the line has been available for some time does not change the fact that I just heard about it now. And now is when I am reacting. I’m officially sick of celebrity authors.

I could complain about the quality of the work. Oh boy, could I complain. But what’s sticking in my craw is the greed. Come on, leave us our little bit of turf. If you can be famous (and usually rich) in your field of acting or music or global domination, leave the world of children’s literature for other people to become a tiny bit famous. Because you can imagine, for every book deal these celebrities strike, that’s less of the kid-lit pie for another author trying to get a break. Do celebrities have to be so greedy to take every aspect of everything because they can? Is that a good enough reason? It’s not... it’s just not... fair.

Now, I really don’t think that actors and musicians and global dominators will stay away from this tiny territory I’d like to carve off, fence in, and defend with a shotgun. But I can dream. And to that end, I initiate Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors, or BACA, and I state today, “BACA Off Kids’ Lit!”

Join if you like, if not for me, than for poor Kadir Nelson. The man deserves an author worthy of his work, and as long as the Spike Lees of the world are around, it ain’t gonna happen.

16 comments:

Beth said...

Can we allow John Lithgow to be the exception that proves the rule? With that caveat, I'm absolutely with you.

Kelly said...

I'd also allow Julie Andrews in. Can we change the acronym to BACA(eJL&JAE)?

Do you shop at Target too, MR?

HipWriterMama said...

I have to admit to a certain fondness for Jamie Lee Curtis's books. Otherwise, I'm totally with you.

TadMack said...

I'd allow Julie Andrews, but no Lithgow... Julie was there first, from waaay back. And Jamie Lee Curtis ... oh, okay. Not willingly.

I'm loving the BACA movement.

adrienne said...

I'm in, all the way. If I was clever, I'd make an icon we could all post on our blogs....

call me a curmudgeon said...

I'm completely for BACA in its original iteration. In terms of exceptions, where do we draw the line? (Sorry, Julie and John and Jamie)

I even have a personal vendetta that extends beyond children's lit. I'm generally against actors-turned-singers, singers-turned-actors, etc. And don't even get me started on the question of honorary degrees.

MotherReader said...

It's tricky. First you're letting in Lithgow, and then Julie Andrews, and next thing you know Pamela Anderson's got a book deal (title: Whose Your Daddy?). A slippery slope.

PJ Librarian said...

I venture to say no exceptions. If a celebrity wants to write a book and I mean really write then let them write under an assumed name and go through the same process everyone else does. If they are pitching a worthwhile subject matter then have them support an author that has already touched on the topic. Only my two cents worth. Go BACA

Kelly said...

PJ has come up with THE BEST SOLUTION. Now I'm 100% behind BACA. Julie would have at least managed to publish "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" under an assumed name.

Stephanie at Children's Literature Book Club is good with the buttons. Should we contact her?

HipWriterMama said...

Yikes! Pamela Anderson! When you put it that way, we should definitely put a ban on celebrities. Kelly's right. PJ has the best idea by far. No exceptions. The same rules for all. I'm on board.

MotherReader said...

I'm going with the no exceptions, but they can write a book under another name.

However, I know we may all have our personal exception, and that will be worked into the secret handshake. So, I'll shake your hand, wink, and say Lithgow. You'll wink, and say Julie Andews. Then we'll smile knowingly and nod.

Anonymous said...

Madonna writes books because, she said, everything out there is so vapid and vacant. She may as well have said, "I really have absolutely no understanding of children's literature." And yet, she is published.

Ban them all. The actors, the singers, the politicians, the football players (if Terrel Owens gets a kid's book published, I think I will pop a vein).

If they care about children's literacy, they should be doing what you are doing, Mother Reader, pointing people in the direction of GREAT BOOKS.

Jennifer said...

Yes, please. Let Julie Andrews in.

And what about "celebrity" journalists? Mike Lupica, for one?

Anonymous said...

Wow, Curmudgeon. You're not taking into account that many actors start out doing musical theatre (for example) but become *known* for a role in a straight play, movie, etc. Unless you know an actor's/singer's/etc. resume, don't assume they're moving into uncharted territory just because you have never heard (or seen) them sing/act/dance before.

As for celebrity authors, I think
what Gail Gauthier said on her blog
makes a lot of sense. I also think Julie Andrews 1) should be excluded and 2) needs to start writing middle-grade novels like Whangdoogle again. Those are what she does best, in my not-so-humble opinion. I also think that Jamie Curtis may have gotten her first book published based on her name, but that she's proven herself worth publishing, celebrity status notwithstanding. I can't comment on Lithgow, since I haven't read his, or on Madonna, since I refuse to read hers.

Liz B said...

Since Julie Andrews published Mandy and Whangdoodle as Julie Edwards (and I don't think the jacket identified her as JA), can she be let in under the didn't really use her name exception?

Rachel B. said...

Sad to say, but Pam Anderson did get a book deal-- two, in fact: Star and Star Struck.

Fortunately, they're not intended for kids. Or, y'know, the literate.

I am totally joining BACA.