Sunday, June 5, 2011

YA Controversy

First things first, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Absolute and sacrosanct.

Now let’s get down to business.

Like television and movies, reading content has changed over the years, particularly in the genre of Young Adult.

All three push the limits of what they can get by the censors. When Whatis-His-Face bared his derriere on TV, critics and fans went ‘oooooh, how unique”.

Eh, maybe. Guess I’ve seen enough bare butts though.
Is voyeurism human nature? Or is it our rebellious attitude, the ‘you can’t tell me what to do’, kind of stuff?

One article about the content of YA novels is in the Wall Street Journal. Literary agent, Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary, also has an opinion and expresses it quite thoroughly.

This makes for good debate and there is nothing better than civilized conversation.
My opinion?

Like TV, the modern YA genre pushes the boundaries of what should be Young Adult. Risqué content, mindless violence, graphic adult situations; all come under the YA tab partly for the shock factor, the Its Never Been Done Before!! and is therefore quite amaaaaazing. *insert tongue in cheek here*
Personally, I disagree with the designation of YA for some novels.

Bottom line. Read the YA book before handing it over to your kid. Do not let some publisher/editor/agent/author tell you what your child should read.
Be responsible.


  1. I agree. There are thousands of YA books in every kind of genre and level of maturity. Thousands of books to suit a particular child's needs. Parents need to be aware, to take responsibility for what their kids are exposed to. We can't rely on publishers/ librarians/ writers etc. to do the parenting for us. That's our job. Having said that, writers should be allowed to write the subject they want to write on--it's up to the parental units to do the censoring. It's like those neon-bright Slow Down signs I see around neighborhood streets. Parents let their kids play on the streets unsupervised, hoping that the other drivers will take responsibility for their kids by minding the signs. It doesn't work that way.

  2. You don't even need to read the book yourself. Most good book store staff will be able to tell you about the themes in the book and whether they would recommend it for a certain age group or not.

  3. that is good advice. sometimes i wonder if these people say/write this stuff just to get a rise or sell their product...
    have a good monday!

  4. I agree with you. Unless you read it first, how can you really know if the content is suitable? And add to that the fact that children mature at different rates!

  5. Run over to Hyaline Prosaic (link in my post for Monday). She has an outstanding discussion on the matter also.

  6. Excellent advice. Now I want to go read that article. I came back from a weekend vacation and keep coming across this discussion. And yes, parents need to be responsible!

  7. I agree--know what you're children are reading and know your children. Some kids are capable of handling content others aren't. (No different than adults) I also think there's a whole lot of wisdom that comes out of these harder to read books, too. It doesn't just have to be for young readers.

    Kalen O'Donnell at: just posted on this same article. It provides a pretty powerful testimony of how this article affected him if you're interested in another take.

  8. Well said...parents need to own their responsibility and quit relying on others to take care of things.


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