I was alerted to this NY Times article yesterday by friend/author Deborah Heiligman. I read said article, delighted at first, but then began to think more critically as I followed Deborah's fantastic discussion on Facebook. Today, Deborah linked to her friend Gayle Forman's awesome blogging about her own response to this article. Deborah and Gayle both responded in the way my grandmother would, that the article damns with faint praise.
"I write for people," I can hear my Gran's exasperated voice. "Aren't children and teenagers people?"
I applaud though, anything that highlights YA as bona fide literature. Where else can you find really tight writing, where every word counts? Saying that we shouldn't be embarrassed to read YA implies that everybody thinks of it unsophisticated brain candy, fluff.
I'll end this short post with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut that I found on Zelda del West's blog:
Well, I've worried some about, you know, why write books ... why are we teaching people to write books when presidents and senators do not read them, and generals do not read them. And it's been the university experience that taught me that there is a very good reason, that you catch people before they become generals and presidents and so forth and you poison their minds with ... humanity, and however you want to poison their minds, it's presumably to encourage them to make a better world.
Doesn't that say it all?
Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.