>Who’s Afraid of the Dark?
>And again teen literature comes under fire:
In the Wall Street Journal book review the topic is the darkness of YA literature and how it is too dark for teens…
In reading the article I am inclined to think that the authors have forgotten the experience of teens…or perhaps todays teen experience is completely lost on them.
The reason I became a librarian is to bring these books, these experiences, to teens.
Prior to embarking on my journey to librarianship I worked with troubled teens, children, youth of all varieties of gender, social status, race, creed, religion, and generally I wish I had been able to give them some of these books. The literature speaks to where they are, the experiences they believed were singularly theirs and singled them out can be recognized within these so called “dark” titles and give them an outlet and a respite from the world which in some cases is far darker than any YA novel on the market!
YA authors often write from experience! Cassandra Clare author of the popular mortal instruments series tweeted the following: “RT @hollyblack: @wsj, do you think we just make this stuff up? The darkest parts of my books came directly from my teenage life. #yasaves”
The Hashtag #YAsaves within 20 minutes became the 3rd most tagged tweet on the twitter site, with authors like Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson and Neil Gaiman standing behind their work, and the YA literature realm. Soon the #YAsaves tag started responses from….wait for it… actual teens!….who read…a foreign creature no doubt…and wait get this….They are upset at the accusations that WSJ is slinging about these books being dark and dreary and potentially deadly. The reality is these books are an extension of the ‘it gets better’ concept. They often give light and substance to the lives of teens.
I know this to be true because I have been there, I have seen first hand that reading these books can be inspiring and uplifting…Even the darkest of topics can become enlightening when paired with feelings that resonate and speak directly to you when you need it most…
My recommendation: Add to the story, add to the reality, tell WSJ what you really think and recommend your favorite dangerously dark book!
My personal favorite is
Hold Still By Nina LaCour
“My best friend is dead, and I could have saved her.” Suicide and Depression and the aftermath of losing a friend when she takes her own life, Nina LaCour provides an honest voice!
Also some of my favorite books are by John Green.
But shhh….don’t tell teens about this dark and dangerous piece of YA Literature… Or better yet, tell everyone, bring things to light and maybe discussing these issues will become more acceptable and teens will feel comfortable approaching and asking someone for help!