In defense of YA Lit.   1 comment

Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie (Photo by Chase Jarvis)

In June Sherman Alexie published an excellent editorial defending violent, sexual, or otherwise dark young adult literature.

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/06/09/why-the-best-kids-books-are-written-in-blood/

The modern concept of childhood as a wholly innocent, breezy, and completely care-free period without struggle is very recent. Children live in the same world as adults and often understand more than adults give them credit for. Giving them nothing but bland, Utopian children’s literature does not help them to cope with the harsh realities that young adults often face.

Additionally, as Alexie points out, innocence is often lost far earlier than many adults think. I know a great many friends who have been abused in some way or another. In some cases, literature helped them to overcome their traumas. To ban a young adult book, or any book, is to do readers a disservice. After all, “Every book its reader, and every reader his/her book.”

*Photo is from Alexie’s website and was taken by Chase Jarvis.

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Posted July 12, 2011 by Alicia Schofield in intellectual freedom

One response to “In defense of YA Lit.

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  1. Excellent book critique, Alicia.

    Reading the article on the link it seems that something is wrong with those places.

    “Children live in the same world as adults and often understand more than adults give them credit for”

    very true

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