Shine and Chime

An interesting error this month when the National Book Foundation made a mistake and announced that Shine by Lauren Myracle was a nominee in the Young People’s Literature category. They had meant to announce that Chime by Franny Billingsley was the nominee.

Myracle was asked to officially withdraw from the running to preserve the “integrity” of the awards.

The somewhat controversial plot of Shine is about a gay teen who is the victim of a hate crime. (The NBF did say it would donate $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation in recognition of their mistake.)

The news got me to check out Myracle's other books and I discovered that she was previously known for a series called the Internet Girls. These books are made up of instant messages of three best friends and are full of teen gosspip, emoticons and abbreviations.

One of the books is called ttyl and concerns an "inappropriate teacher-student relationship" plus some heartbreak, drunkenness and other teen (by perhaps not YA NBF) topics.

I also took a look at Chime on Amazon to see its plot, which is described there in this way:
"Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know"
If I was back in my old role as a middle school English teacher, which of those titles would I rather be teaching based on the plots? Shine sounds more relevant and one that would generate better discussion. Of course, the school district might not approve it.

No publicity is bad publicity?