Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The YA Fiction Kerfuffle

If you’ve been paying attention to the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio (among others) this month, you’re aware that critics, reviewers, authors, and parents are in a heated debate over the state of young adult fiction. It’s too dark of late, wrote columnist and mother Meghan Cox Gurdon in the article that sparked the conversation. Difficult, controversial, and even morbid topics are delivered in shocking detail, capable of shaping young persons’ worldviews in negative ways. Others, such as author Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian) make well-articulated arguments that gritty, well-written stories save lives, and that most young adults read with the noblest of intentions. Gurdon had the opportunity to respond in a panel discussion on the topic hosted by NPR. What do you think, parents and readers? Are such “dark” books dangerous or necessary, or perhaps a little of both?


Gavin said...

Well, I would fall into the audience of YA fiction. And I guess I would say a little of both. But in general, if you have an avid reader who is a teenager, they aren't going to stick to YA anyways. They will most likely read some, and then read a lot of adult fiction. Which can be more graphic. I feel that if all they read is YA, they probably don't read much, so it's not a problem. But if they do read a lot, they probably also read adult fiction, so it doesn't matter anyways.

Erin Healy said...

You've hit on a key point of the discussion, Gavin, which is that YA fiction these days seems to increasingly resemble adult fiction in content.