The discussion on the proposed YA Hugo is still going strong and a couple of points are worth highlighting. Firstly, Chris Barkley has created a Facebook page for the discussion. You still have to join Facebook to use it, but you don’t have to be on Chris’s friend list. You can find it here. (And yes, the work linked for me.)
Also there was a very interesting comment by Elspeth Kovar who had gone outside the fannish community for a reaction. Here’s the salient bit:
I was chatting with the manager of my local bookstore yesterday and it occurred to me to ask if she thought if this Hugo would be a good idea. She said “Yes!” so quickly and emphatically it rocked me back on my heels. I asked for a brief explanation I could post here.
Her reasoning is that while there are hundreds of awards almost none go to the books young adults actually read. A Hugo for childrens/YA books would change that. Those readers would finally have a solid basis for choosing books. It would also make them more aware of the Hugos which would help them choose from books that aren’t shelved in age-specific areas.
All to often these debates take place in a relatively small community and people make assertions about the effects of a change without any effort to test those assertions. (I have, for example, seen people assert that a YA Hugo would do nothing for the profile of the awards.) So thanks to Elspeth for widening the discussion.