In an op-ed piece that the Wall Street Journal published as an article, Meghan Cox Gurdon criticizes contemporary young adult fiction for its darkness. As she writes, “it is … possible–indeed, likely–that books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people
As I look at the American Library Association’s lists of Banned and Challenged Books, one recurring theme emerges: most (though not all) depict difficulties faced by children and teens. Though the motive for banning books is protection, restricting access to these books hurts the children and teens who are most in need of them. Â Laurie
Wesley Scroggins, Associate Professor of Management at Missouri State University, thinks that Laurie Halse Anderson‘s Speak (1999) is “soft pornography.” Â Having read and taught Speak many times, I suspect that Mr. Scroggins either lacks some basic literary skills (such as how to detect tone) or is in need of psychological counseling. As an English professor,
Since “Metafiction for Children: A User’s Guide” went up yesterday (as the final entry on In Media Res’ “Children’s Culture” week), I’ve been pleased by people’s kind response to my amateur video.Â Thanks, everyone! There are far more books than I could include in the film, and there were several I had not thought of.
War is hell. Â If General Sherman (and, I expect, many others) hadn’t said it first, I suspect Suzanne Collins might have chosen those three words as a subtitle for herÂ Hunger Games trilogy. Â As its predecessors did,Â Mockingjay dramatizes the physical and emotional consequences of war. Â It’s especially adept at displaying the scars invisible to those of
With the fall term imminent (starts Monday), I’m posting a link to the latest iteration of my English 545: Literature for Adolescents.Â My goal is always “diversity” in many senses of that word. Â We read books by writers of different backgrounds (African-American, Iranian, Chinese-American, Latino, Caucasian), genders, sexualities, classes — which are probably the categories most