So when I read that "article" (opinion piece) in the Wall Street Journal (no I'm not linking it) about how YA books are disgusting, horrible things that are ruining our youth, I refused to respond with arguments. Instead, I did what I usually do when faced with a person I don't know who is acting a way that perplexes me. I wondered what made the author tick. I tried to find motive and figure out what sort of person would make wide judgments about what my children should read--about what I should feel and do as a parent. I treated her like a character in one of my books and I did what all my editors have asked me to do. I dug deeper into the character and I dug deeper into the story and found holes. But I didn't argue. Because for me, arguing with this person is no different than arguing with those lunatics who protest our annual Vagina Monologues which raises money for rape victims. So far, their picket signs have not made rape victims go away, and I have bigger work to do than to point that out to them.
Then this morning, I found Liz B.'s response over at her SLJ blog and I was so happy she found the same plot and character holes I did. So I made a comment there--of which I want to quote a portion here as my only response to that "article" (opinion piece.)
What I found most disturbing was the recommended reading list–which was made of books which are plenty dark whose authors would likely disagree with the article. The bizarre need to genderize it was the perfect irony. If our society would stop being so obsessed about sexuality, gender and sex roles maybe we’d have some time to talk about and work on the real problems which cause real darkness in 1 out of 3 people’s lives. And maybe the WSJ would print articles about the startling teen rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence statistics that our country boasts.Go add to the discussion at #yasaves on Twitter. Make sure to hug your well-informed librarians and booksellers as soon as you can. I will also hug my open-minded parents today. Until then, I'm going to go work on my next dangerous piece of fiction. Because I have letters around here that prove that telling the truth in YA books saves lives. And I am damn proud to be a part of that.
Or, we could just ignore it and you know, go back to talking about bedbugs and the weather.
Adding this late: Here's a response from my good friend Jackie Morse Kessler, whose book was mentioned in the article (opinion piece) that I think is just awesome.