The magazine I mentioned yesterday, Cicada, is aimed at young adults, ages 14-22 or thereabouts, but I’ve been enjoying it for years. The editors have kindly selected three other stories of mine for publication, and also the works of many writers that I admire. In the current issue, for example, my novella appears along with a story by O. Henry and poetry by Ted Kooser (featuring a girl in a wheelchair) and William Shakespeare. Not bad company, eh? In previous issues I’ve enjoyed poetry in these pages by Billy Collins, Ted Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and my Literary Mama colleague Violeta Garcia-Mendoza. I’ve also had the pleasure of reading new fiction by established young adult writers such as Linda Sue Park, Cynthia Letich Smith, and Marina Budhos.
The editors of Cicada don’t shy away from difficult topics. There have been stories concerning the war in Iraq, stories about alcoholism, racism, and illness. The current issue includes an edgy story by fantasy writer Nancy Springer about a missing child. Another bonus: the magazine introduces readers to many different cultures. In the past, I’ve especially enjoyed the stories by Tish Farrell which are set in Africa.
If this sounds like a sales pitch, well, it is. The editors of Cicada and Ladybug (where my first children’s stories were published) have been good to me, and I’d like to do what I can to give back. If you’ve got a teen reader in the house, this magazine is the perfect antidote to the Gossip Girls, et al. If your kids are still young, get a subscription for yourself.