there’s darkness and then there’s darkness

Is it ironic only to me that a column in the Wall Street Journal which bemoans the dark nature of some YA fiction advocates darkness of a different kind?

And, as if YA is any worse than the fairy tales I heard as a child. Hansel and Gretel anyone? Did it scar me and make me afraid of old women who live in cottages? Um, nope.

Yes, some YA topics are very dark, covering horrible real-life issues such as abuse, suicide and self harm. Just imagine how horrible those problems are for teens to deal with in real life. And just imagine how alone teens struggling with real-life darkness must feel.

Books, even books about darkness, enlighten and expose more of the world to those who are otherwise locked behind a wall of ugly ignorance. See a previous post.

My childhood was average – not perfect parents by far, but they weren’t the worst. Other kids aren’t that lucky. Books are sometimes the only way they get to see over the wall. Just as important, I feel, is that young adults and adults who are lucky enough not to live a nightmare know that others are in hell.

{Ooooo, I said HELL! Notice to adults: teens cuss. Oh, and don’t even get me started about sex and teens, and the way too many teens learn about relationships and human reproduction.}

Yes, the world can be a dark place.Yes, YA exposes the darkness. Darkness can NEVER get too much light and darkness can NEVER be too visible.

You know what’s darker to me? Silence.

I’m going to get back to working on my dangerous YA novel. The book has already received some push-back from a couple of betareaders, because horrors upon horrors it has a teenaged atheist heroine. The good news is that a few betareading slots have opened up … 😉

Thanks for reading,

Read other responses to the WSJ columnist.

Bloggers [Heart] Books
Ink Blots and Quills 
Cheryl Rainfield (Author of Scars, one of the books mentioned in the column)
Jackie Morse Kessler
Steph Su Reads