I read and appreciated Gail Giles' defense of the darkness in YA literature.
I often think of edginess as an inducement to read, because I'm writing and editing for non-habitual readers. I imagine the 12-year-old reading at a second-grade level feeling frustrated and bored at the same time by the puppies-and-teddy-bears book she can't quite decipher, when her classmates are reading The Hunger Games.
Giles' approach and reasoning are different. She argues that teens are ill-equipped to understand the consequences to the antisocial impulses they have, and that literature offers them a safe way to explore those impulses, and those consequences. This is the antithesis of the parental clench reaction to anything adult-y, and I find it refreshing.
Please read it (follow the link above or here), and let me know where you stand.
- Steve Shea
- A 40-ish publisher (editor, project manager, etc.), husband, and father of an even number of offspring, I grew up, or failed to, reading fantasy and sci-fi. I still enjoy reading, and now am trying to write. My favorite books include YA fantasy, manga, biography, and advice to authors. I'm also a former history major/grad student/high school teacher and assessment writer. Now I work for a school supplement publisher, specializing in high-low chapter books. I spend a lot of my time controlling reading levels. At night, I cut loose and use long words. W00t!