Sunday, June 5, 2011


So yesterday, there was an article at the Wall Street Journal called Darkness Too Visible that complains that contemporary young adult novels have too much violence.

There are so many things wrong with this article. My thoughts:

1. Violence, depravity, bullying, abuse, molestation, cutting, child prostitution, exploitation, incest -- it all does happen to kids. Writing about this and showing how kids can, or might not, survive it is a good thing. Not writing about it doesn't make it go away.
2. There's a tweet explosion using the #YAsaves, where people tweet about how young adult fiction has helped them cope with the issues in their lives, or giving them compassion for others. There's a slideshow of them at the WSJ site.
3. The Hunger Games = the daily survival of bullying, abuse, and/or poverty that millions of kids deal with in real life.
4. Judy Blume, who the article author holds up as a good example of YA writing, doesn't support the article's premise.
5. There's a sidebar of books the article writer does approve of, and it's offered as a list of books for boys and a list for girls. headdesk.
6. The kids reading these books lived through Sept 11, 2001. They know bad things happen.

I have not suffered any of these terrible things that the children and teens in these books survive. I think the article is more about parents wanting, wishing they could shield their kids from bad things; parents wishing the world wasn't a place where bad things could happen to their children.

Afterall, the article doesn't even interview actual young adult readers.

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