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?