Young Adult authors and readers have banded together to combat last weekend’s article by Meghan Cox Gurdon in The Wall Street Journal. She asserted that recent tales have skewed the genre to a place that is too dark.
The article skewers the language and content that young readers can find in many popular books, even going so far as to say the genre is “[s]o dark that kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings are now just part of the run of things…” Gurdon’s sentiment is that although the novels don’t necessarily make teens reenact what they read about, these topics can have a serious effect on readers. She says, “Entertainment doesn’t not merely gratify taste, after all, but creates it.”
However, it was not long before the YA community responded to this attack. In the wake of this article, author Maureen Johnson began the Twitter hashtag #YAsaves which has generated well over 15,000 re-tweets in the first few hours as people tell their own stories about the positive effects of the genre. Since the conversation has taken on a life of it’s own as authors and readers react to the original article and the stories that are being shared.
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