Sunday, June 5, 2011

Here we go again

Rather than comment at length on the latest internet kerfuffle (I've already done so, briefly, on Twitter), I'll just point you to people who are more articulate than I about the latest assertions that YA literature is destroying our young people:

Philip Nel's "Why Meghan Can't Read"

Laurie Halse Anderson's "Stuck Between Rage and Compassion"

On Twitter, people are using the hashtag #YAsaves to discuss the positive influence that YA literature has had on their lives. Because I'm a writer of YA--a writer of the dark realism that is the very sort of YA book deplored by the author of the Wall Street Journal piece that started this latest internet firestorm--one could view me as biased on the topic. So I'll let the young readers of YA speak for themselves. I encourage you to follow that hashtag for just a little while to see what's being said.

My only comment on the WSJ piece at this time will be on this paragraph by Meghan Cox Gurdon: "In the book trade, this is known as 'banning.' In the parenting trade, however, we call this 'judgment' or 'taste.' It is a dereliction of duty not to make distinctions in every other aspect of a young person's life between more and less desirable options. Yet let a gatekeeper object to a book and the industry pulls up its petticoats and shrieks 'censorship!'"

Since Ms. Gurdon apparently cannot tell the difference between parenting and publishing, between judgment and censorship, I am happy to define them. Judgment involves deciding what you can't, or don't want to, read. Parenting involves deciding what your own kid can't read. Censorship involves deciding what everyone else can't read.

You're welcome.

I'm smoothing down my petticoats now.

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