I've said before I think if something happens in real life, it's worth discussing in fiction, so that applies to all the things the WSJ would prefer kids weren't reading about - self-harm, sexual abuse, sex, drugs, drinking, whatever. Because, you know, these things do happen and are happening and will happen, and pretending they don't doesn't help anyone. Rather than "normalising" these issues, YA books that deal with them can help kids (and adults) face their issues and seek out help. Rather than pretending this stuff doesn't happen and sweeping it under the rug, people should be encouraged to discuss and debate these issues, and then maybe the awful statistics Jackie Kessler lists in her post would be different.
Jun. 5th, 2011
I'm probably the last person to stumble upon the Wall Street Journal's article about YA fiction not being all about unicorns and rainbows, but if you haven't read it, you really should. And then you should read Jackie Kessler's wonderful response. I'm quite intrigued by all this, particularly since, you know, I just self-published a book rife with young people taking drugs, swearing profusely, and beating each other up. Ahem. I just don't know where to start, and I won't go on a rant, because Jackie Kessler pretty much says everything I'd want to say (only far more eloquently), but if I was going to add something it would be this: