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Our resident YA know-it-all, Bec Kavanagh, takes on a recent article from the the Wall Street Journal, which slammed Young Adult Fiction for being grotesque, overly graphic, and generally more depraved than in the good old days.
She blogged her response at the site of the A Thousand Words Festival (Melbourne’s own YA festival, founded and run by Kavanagh),here.
The Wall Street Journal uses this tagline for the article: “Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?” Kavanagh points out that the article argues it’s case with a (questionably) limited sample of only ten novels. We add that the thrust of the article seems to be confusing censorship and/or banning with active parenting.
Today alone we in the office have heard three radio shows comment on and respond to this article; and there is sure to be more. Kavanagh’s assertion in her blog that the dark side of life is more visible nowadays, and for fiction to ring true to an audience should be represented, seems to hold water. Indeed, the strength I feel in Kavanagh’s article is the importance she attaches to the relatable voice, ready and waiting to help teens through what is universally acknowledged as a tough time of life.