A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about YA books has generated a firestorm of response on Twitter. Here's the article.
And here's my reply:
I'm not apologizing for reading, representing and selling YA books. Not the ones with violence. Not the ones with sex. Not the ones you scoff at that have "images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds."
Yea, stuff it.
Cause in the world I live in, kids are people too, and reading this kind of "crap" is how they learn to be people in the real world.
Cause YA is about kids learning that bad stuff can happen to good people. If something bad happens to you, it's not cause you ARE bad.
Cause YA is about kids learning to be brave.
Cause YA is about kids learning to affect their own lives, not just be affected.
Cause YA is about kids failing, and not giving up.
Cause YA is about being able to read about fearsome frightening things, and come out on the other side unscathed.
So yea, stuff it.
And while we're here, let me point out that anyone who can't find a "suitable" book among 78 on a general trade booksellers shelf (let alone a staffer who hasn't read a single one!) is probably in the wrong section.
There's nothing wrong with Charlotte's Web or Stuart Little, books I love with all my heart, but they are shelved most likely someplace else. (And let's all remember that Charlotte's Web that great American classic starts with Fern's dad heading out to the pig shed with an ax.)
News articles like this aren't news. They're opinion pieces. Verily, the world of publishing is going to hell in a handbag.
Well, here's my opinion, in case you missed it: Stuff it.