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In response to Wall Street Journal article, a love letter to YA lit

In response to Wall Street Journal article, a love letter to YA lit

ShareIf you’re plugged into the young adult literature world, or if you’ve been within ten feet of a Twitter account in recent days, this will look familiar:


It’s the Twitter hashtag that was created in response to this June 4th Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon, proclaiming contemporary young adult literature to be far too dark, grotesque, and and violent for any young adult’s own good. Gurdon argues that YA lit’s exploration of difficult topics/themes like death, drug use, self-mutilation, and anorexia essentially has the potential to give teens who might not otherwise have thought about using drugs or starving themselves the idea to, you know, give it a shot. So any good teacher/librarian/parent should beware: if your kids didn’t have problems before, they will after reading today’s young adult literature. Gurdon says: ”It may be that the book industry’s ever-more-appalling offerings for adolescent readers spring from a desperate desire to keep books relevant for the young. Still… the book business exists to sell books; parents exist to rear children, and… no family is obliged to acquiesce when publishers use the vehicle of fundamental free-expression principles to try to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children’s lives.”

I’m seriously biting my tongue here. But my reaction to the piece (Okay! I think it’s ludicrous, just for the record!) isn’t the issue. More significant is the way in which writers, agents, editors, publishers, librarians, parents, and most importantly, READERS, rose up to defend their beloved genre.

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