Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Is teenage fiction "rife with depravity"?

A lot of controversy has been stirred up by an article in the Wall Street Journal by Meghan Cox Gurdon, entitled Darkness too visible, in which she asks "contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?" I'm not sure I would describe the teen books coming into this library in those terms, although as the books she cites are American I couldn't judge any of them apart from Suzanne Collins' Hunger games trilogy which I''ve blogged about (approvingly) here. I've now noticed quite a few rebuttals coming through, one of which is from another writer on her own paper, Christopher John Farley, whose blog post asking Should young adult books explore difficult issues? comes up with a "Yes", as does another blog post from Not just for kids. Today, the Guardian has joined in with an article on its Teen Books page and a plea Don't censor teen fiction on its Books Blog. The controversy has also spawned its own Twitter tag, #YAsaves.

If you want to explore teenage books and the issues involved through our pages, see the one on Teenage Literature and our Banned Books reading list which deals with titles for all ages which have caused controversy over the years.

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