My Two Cents

Sun and rainbowIt's summer, the kids are out of school, I've been grinding away at Book Four and not reading much online.  I didn't even know about Weinergate until a day or so ago (and I live in NY).  I have seen a lot of buzz in the YA world about this WSJ article, though.  I'm late to the party so will keep it brief - I'm sure there are thousand other responses that say it a thousand times better - but my two cents?  Yeah, some YA books are dark.  So are video games and TV and music and lots of stuff on the internet aimed at kids.  Don't like it for your kids?  Don't buy it.  Or read it yourself and have a constructive dialogue with them.   But suggesting that the YA of 2011 should be more like Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? is like saying teens should go back to watching The Brady Bunch.  Publishing is a business.  Dark sells because kids are savvier today.  We all are.  The Bradys weren't happily married, Cindy did porn and Greg dated his mom.  And everyone knows it or can find out.  For better or worse, ugly underbellies are public knowledge these days.  Turn YA books into sunshine and rainbows and kids - the world's biggest skeptics to start with - will just flip on the TV or a video game or read adult fiction instead, all of which offer plenty of choices that are at least as dark/edgy/real as any YA out there.