The Importance of Young Adult Literature: Responding to THAT article

So it looks like we’ve gotten to that fun part of the year again where everyone wants to take a swipe at YA because it’s the easy option. 

Yesterday, it was the turn of TES columnist and English teacher turned Educational Consultant, Joe Nutt, to declare war on young adult literature in spectacularly spiteful fashion. Describing YA as a ‘dangerous fantasy’, he managed to insult readers, librarians, bloggers, authors and writers in one fell swoop.

Mr Nutt believes that young adult literature is preventing young people from becoming “genuinely literate adults“, which is interesting because the very definition of literate is to be able to read and write. The people he’s referring to clearly are reading, just not necessarily the material that Joe would seemingly shove in their direction.

The article also seems to have a problem with the terminology itself, stating that there is simply no such thing as young adulthood because the author didn’t experience it. In that case, how can it possibly exist? I’ve never been to the Empire State Building, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, my friend.

The logic just keeps on rolling with the following statement:

“Several generations of teenagers, especially boys, have been effectively prevented from ever becoming literate adults by a publishing industry that has decided young adult readers have an insatiable appetite for what amounts to nothing more than gossip fodder.”

Um. What?!

It is in fact, true that it is more difficult to engage boys in reading when compared to their female counterparts. Perhaps that’s because they’re being recommended books about 18th century America by Fanny Trollope on BBC Radio 4 or being told that young adult books couldn’t possibly be relevant to them? As Juno Dawson so eloquently put in her response article, to make a statement like this suggests that “there is only one one way to be a boy”. At best, it’s poor research and at worst, casual sexism.

Off of the top of my head, I can think of at least ten young adult authors who write books that aren’t exclusively read by or aimed at one gender. Patrick Ness, Philip Reeve, Melvin Burgess, Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth and Kevin Brooks (among many others) all write fantastic books that run a gamut of topics from space, to religion, to technology, to mythology, to friendship, to family to science.

Considering the sheer breadth and depth of YA literature, I can only assume that the reason why the teenage boys in Joe Nutt’s English class didn’t like reading was because he was forcing James Joyce upon them when really, all they might have needed was a taste of Percy Jackson or The Fifth Wave. 

Equally, there are some young people (gender regardless) who may never want to pick up a book no matter the author or subject matter. I don’t like salad cream. You get over it. 

The overarching problem with this article is not the half-hearted arguments that are made, but rather the snob-tastic tone with which the whole of the piece is written. It reads as if YA books are akin to an enthusiastic, but ultimately dumb pet dog. 

To suggest that the entirety of fiction produced for teenagers is little more than gossip column fodder and “self-harming vampires” (wow, can you say offensive?) is what really pushed me to write this post. It’s common knowledge that in all genres, there are bad apples, but if you’re going to tar that genre with your one lonely brush then at least be ready with a bank of examples to back up your arguments.

“If I were a publisher I would be asking some serious questions about the cultural value and validity of the young adult fiction agents are peddling. I would be asking them where are those vital books for teenagers that introduce them to the real, adult world?”

Young adult literature does not need me to fight it’s corner: it’s thriving and the backlash this article has already provoked tells a better story than I ever could. People who actually read young adult books know that it’s a progressive genre full of authors championing diversity, taking down taboos and helping people to feel less alone. Authors from Holly Bourne and Malorie Blackman to Sarah J. Maas and Louise O’Neill are using their work to talk frankly about topics like society, feminism, racism, rape, sex and mental health. If that doesn’t count as introducing teenagers to the “real, adult world” then I’d like to throw my hat into the ring and question what does.

I’m 24 and young adult books STILL teach me about the real, adult world.

I don’t much like the classics, but I would never write a post saying that they aren’t worth reading. I believe that any book that encourages someone to pick up one more, whether it’s George Orwell’s 1984, or Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging is worthy of praise. Dead, white men will continue to dominate the school curriculum in the UK and whilst the government closes libraries and the media pull coverage of children’s books, I can’t believe that there are genuinely people out there worrying about what young people are reading? Surely the important thing is that they’re reading at all. 

If they’re reading, they’re on their way to being “genuinely literate adults”. Turns out they just don’t need Joe Nutt’s Guide to Paradise Lost to do it. 

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77 thoughts on “The Importance of Young Adult Literature: Responding to THAT article

  1. Amen sister! Such a wonderful response to that nasty article!!! And you didn’t even have to cut anyone down to prove your points… Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however the offensive way in which Mr. Nutt stated his opinion was just poor form!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seriously? This seems to happen every now and then despite the YA literature renaissance. I’m a 51 year old former children’s librarian and I’d say at least half of the books I read and review for my blog are YA. This man clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and I’m curious to hear exactly what if any YA books he’s actually picked up and read instead of spouting off over-generalizations!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well said Sammie! I can’t stand articles like this, and what I find most offensive about them is that it’s clear the people who write them haven’t done the research – if they’d actually picked up a YA book, looked into what’s popular, and what YA authors are doing at the moment, they’d realise that their views are about 10 years out of date. YA is such a progressive genre, and if anything is become more and more adult, going further in preparing young people for dealing with the real world than it ever did before. Alsooo this line in his article – “So much young adult fiction is little more than a florid expansion of those headlines about the new love in Jennifer Aniston’s life, Taylor Swift’s dietary obsessions or Kim Kardashian’s latest sex tape.” – for real? What YA books is he picking up? It sounds more like he has confused Heat magazine for YA novel…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Jess! ❀ Me neither – we seem to have had a few over the last couple of months and it’s so frustrating to read such generalised articles. 😫 EXACTLY, YA is the most progressive genre I can think of too – both in terms of subject matter and also in championing diversity of character and story. I KNOW I COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT BIT. So casually sexist as well! X

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly, it seems to be such a popular subject a the moment. Probably because they know it will offend people/be controversial, and therefore generate traffic. It’s just so frustrating how ill-researched they are, and like you said, completely generalised. And exactly, that comment was sexist, and just plain ridiculous – as far as I know there are no YA books remotely like that, but even if there were, if people enjoy those things, why is it a problem? Books are about escapism and enjoyment too, not just education! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep! I saw another one pop up on the Guardian yesterday. It’s never-ending! Why do these people who don’t read YA even care?! Absolutely. Books are different things to different people and whilst people are always welcome to express opinions, book snobbery is something that I can’t deal with! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh another one 😦 What did it say? And that’s such a good point – why do they care?! They don’t have to read it if they don’t enjoy it, but why criticize the people who do enjoy it? It makes no difference to them! Down with book snobbery!!! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, y’know, the usual! It was to do with a speaker at a recent children’s book festival. Might of been up at the Edinburgh Fringe actually…but he was basically saying that YA isn’t actually read by teenagers and that it’s mainly middle aged women and it’s not a real genre anyway. YAWN. Exactly?! Have they not got anything better to write about/do/read haha? Down with book snobbery for sure! We should start a club haha! x

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  4. I’m so sick of these people ripping on YA. It gets reluctant readers TO READ. And who’s the authority on “good” literature? Is it based on “the canon?” Books that are about nothing but the pain of everyday life? Ugh. Kill me now.
    I’m so sick of condescension from the “literary community.” You know where I think their opinion belongs.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I completely agree! So what if I don’t want to read For Whom The Bell Tolls or War and Peace (I’m pretty sure I already know the plot of the second one anyway…lol)? Why don’t these people actually READ a YA book? They are more imaginative and better written than most adult books because they have to COMPETE. It’s ridiculous, and it makes my blood boil. 😑

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha! Too right. EXACTLY. That’s one of the things that riled me so much – it’s quite clear that he’s not read a YA book and has no examples to back up his arguments. You’re totally right – I think YA authors have to work really hard as it is to ensure that their books aren’t viewed as ‘lesser’ versions of adult books and these kinds of articles just enforce that stereotype. You and me both! 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they have to keep their books fresh and creative, when 20 housewives can write a book about crying into their cakes and everyone tasting their feelings (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake…really??).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, it’s a real thing. It’s ridiculous. They come down on YA bc of first person POV, and the fact that it’s not incredibly self-indulgent like most adult books. I am so sick of reading blurbs about the woman who ponders her navel or the man who imagines he’s a secret agent, but realizes real life is more important. Or whining about your teen years when mommy didn’t love you enough, so you can’t love yourself. Blah, blah, blah. It’s all crap. Well, not all…but most sounds like it would bore me to tears. YA is innovative and creative and takes you on an adventure and makes you feel! It’s not about melancholia or life’s regrets. I have enough shit in my own life: I don’t need to read yours.
        Lol. πŸ˜‰
        Soo sorry. I get pretty passionate on the subject of those who knock the genre. I have read their “prize winning” adult books. Guess what? I could write my life story up until this point and it would put Running with Scissors (that book that was made into a movie) to shame. But I’m not angsty. (I better stop now or I’ll rant again).
        My main point? I will one day write the story of my life…like Augusten Burroughs. And it’s not pretty. But I’ll write it for a YA audience, because I know that people in their formative years will know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I won’t write it with some open-ended stuff about how nothing matters and life goes on. Save the melodrama for the theater.
        Ok…done. Please don’t think I’m a weirdo! 😳

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha I don’t think you’re a weirdo at all! Love that rant so much. I totally I agree with you – young adult lit IS innovative, creative and poignant and so many other things to boot. Sometimes you need to escape your own life and day to day issues and dive into something else and YA provides exactly that for a whole range of people. Haha – never apologise, I feel exactly the same when it comes to this particular debate! πŸ™‚ I will definitely be keeping an eye out for your book in the future!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely. If only he’d stop musing into a dog eared copy of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and actually bother to read some of the amazing YA that exists! Should probably google the definition of literate as well while he’s at it! #seething!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I completely agree with everything you said. If a kid or adult is actually taking the time to sit down and read, shouldn’t we be encouraging them to continue to do so instead of scoff at the fact that they chose to read Twilight and not Great Expectations? YA novels are not ruining society, I think they’ve actually helped spark renewed interest in reading over the past 15 years or so. I do think we should always encourage each other to try new genres or branch out a bit, but that’s to help someone find their next favorite new book, not because YA is nothing but garbage. There’s nothing worse than a literary snob taking a swipe at whatever book/genre/author he thinks the world should be rid of. Those are the kind of people that obviously don’t read for enjoyment, but merely to feel superior to the rest of us. And if Mr. Nutt’s students don’t like to read then maybe he should take into consideration this quote – “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book yet”. Sorry Mr. Nutt, but even a fan of classics such as myself, did not enjoy The Great Gatsby or any book by Dickens. But I sure as hell love me some Mortal Instruments series!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ Absolutely my sentiment as well. The important thing is that they’re choosing to spend time reading at all. That should be the real focus here. Also, who’s to say that Twilight won’t inspire them to read a classic by Dickens or Bronte? You never know. EXACTLY. You’ve just summed up exactly what I was trying to say in one sentence – it’s the superiority that really got to me. Hahaha yes! Praise be Cassandra Clare! x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My normal response to articles like these (and not your post BTW, the one your referring to by Joe Nutt) is ‘*insert swear word of your choice here* what people think?! I’m going to read what I enjoy and that’s that!’
    Honestly of all the genres I do read I haven’t come across one that’s as broad as YA because it has a little of everything; contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, historical, and there are even more subgenres under that umbrella, and like you said as well I’m 26 now and I still learn things about the world through reading YA books!
    There are also, like you said, plenty of books about diversity and a whole range of books that tackle difficult issues as well; Highly Illogical Behaviour is one I can think of that was written amazingly well but stayed true to the issues it was highlighting.
    I loved your response to this article, you definitely raised some valid points I don’t think Joe Nutt would have thought of when writing his! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes! Thank you Sammie! This is exactly how I felt as well, to hear him bag out an entire genre and the Authors, agents, and publishers just annoyed me so much because there are so many YA books that help kids grow and come into themselves. I can’t belive this got past TES editors and it makes me question why they would let this article be posted it was condescending and mean with no evidence to back up any of his claims. If a book gets someone reading or helps them take a break from whatever’s going on around them it shouldn’t matter that it’s the equivalent to ‘gossip magazine’ it’s still reading! Great post πŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! ❀ Exactly. It's two-fold for me I think because YA is a genre full of authors writing books that genuinely help people of all ages and also JUST LET PEOPLE READ WHAT THEY WANT. Why belittle people when they're actually reading in the first place? Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. πŸ™‚ x

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  9. This man is severely out-of-touch with the realities portrayed in YA literature. His article starts off with a casual joke aimed at diversity – transgender people, specifically, and he has the nerve to talk about “cultural validity?” The We Need Diverse Books movement is largely centered around YA books. I see YA authors making a conscious effort to include diversity in their books, and not just when it comes to race, ethnicity, sexuality or disability. Also in terms of class, of small towns and large cities, of people with all sorts of interests, representing people of all body-types (we’re getting there).

    This man probably teaches To Kill a Mockingbird, or the Catcher in the Rye, or Pride and Prejudice in his classrooms – all of which are YA books, often shelved in the adult section because they are called “classics” and so can’t possibly be put in the YA section. It’s so awful that a teacher who is supposed to TEACH adolescents is bashing something they enjoy, mocking their problems and anxieties. Book elitism is a plague to society. Geez. Great discussion post. Got me riled up again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re telling me! Honestly I didn’t even touch on the first paragraph in any depth because I knew that if I did the post would have been a lot more angry than I wanted it to be. That first paragraph was totally offensive in so many ways. Exactly – to me, YA and YA authors are so progressive in so many ways; including protagonists and characters that reflect the diversity of the world around them and actually talking about topics like gender fluidity, mental health, self-harming and disability. I think other genres are so far behind YA in terms of that! I totally agree. I know! That’s the funny thing isn’t it? People tend to forget that those books were also written for a teen audience, because it suits their elitism to merely shelve them as classics. Such a good point! I know, that’s a worrying idea to me. 😦 I suppose we can be thankful he’s no longer teaching. In this day and age, that’s definitely not the sort of teacher young people need. Thank you so much for your comment! ❀

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  10. Brava! Well said. That “article” was such a disgrace. I was so pissed and offended by it all. I would actually like to answer his question here:

    “where are those vital books for teenagers that introduce them to the real, adult world?””

    IN THE YOUNG ADULT SECTION.

    Young Adult fiction is the perfect genre for exactly what he is asking because they are literally about teenagers growing up to be adults and learning to take on different responsabilities, tackle personal issues, etc. I’m 23 and I still learn from Young Adult. His article was pure literary snobbery and as well as harmful for teenagers in general. And how he dismissed teenage anxieties? What is his problem? ALL adults know how harsh teenage years can be (well… he doesn’t seem to have a clue). We are bodies full of emotions and hormones at that moment. Add to that all the extra stuff each teenager has to endure (family, school or life issues). And that guy just wants to “shape” them with classics that show them responsabilities? A lot of teenagers cannot relate to classics and learn just what is taught to them. YA fiction gives teenagers the chance to put themselves in the stories and actually seek answers in the stories.

    It was such a hurtful article overall. It was also disappointing all the misconceptions thrown in there. His outline for the “typical” YA novel was offensive to the maximum and his comment, which you pointed out, about boys not being catered to was entirely sexist. So gossip is for girls is what he is saying? And what gossip is he referring to? To the hype that surrounds YA fiction? I don’t get it.

    I’m so sorry for rambling, but I could rant non-stop for that ridiculous article. Thank you for writing this response πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It really was. I’ve spied another one this week, too. 😦 It’s so frustrating. EXACTLY. THANK YOU. That’s how I feel too – I’m still learning about people and things and becoming an adult and I am supposedly an adult. Life is hard sometimes and YA is exactly the genre to help people come out the other side. I know. As someone who suffers from anxiety (and yes, sometimes my anxieties are ‘petty’) I found that throwaway comment particularly nasty. Mental health is a huge issue for young people at the moment and comments like that don’t help anyone further understand the issues that people face! Exactly. If people want to read the classics, that’s fantastic, but if they can’t relate to the characters then why the hell shouldn’t they be introduced to Rainbow Rowell or Holly Bourne or Cassandra Clare? The point is that they’re reading and that’s awesome! I know. 😦 I don’t get it either. The snobbery, the ignorance, the sexism, the misguided judgement and narrow mindedness. Everything about it is wrong! Don’t worry – I love a good ramble! πŸ˜€ No, thank you so much for commenting. Loved hearing your thoughts. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jill! πŸ˜€ Exactly. You’re never too old to read exactly what you want to read. I still read Famous Five and A Series of Unfortunate Events and they’re children’s books! I just wish people would let people read what makes them happy without this inane book snobbery. It’s so tedious. Hahaha I know – I couldn’t believe it! How it got past the TES quality control I’ll never know – I expected better from them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Book snobs πŸ€” Ain’t nobody got time for that. Haha! πŸ™‚ People at work used to give me a hard time because I used to read vampire books like Sookie Stackhouse. They would tell me I should read stuff like Vonnegut and I totally would but not when I also like YA books and don’t need what someone else wants me to read shoved down my throat. Yeah, that guy is a looney. Maybe they just wanted to drum up some drama.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha – ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’ is the best way to sum up that article! Exactly. If someone tells me I should be reading whatever they think I should be reading, I tend to purposely avoid it. I’m stubborn like that haha. I wouldn’t be surprised you know!

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  11. I hear you loud and clear. My 12 year old daughter reads “young adult” books and while I am a little squeamish about some of them (Percy Jackson, for example, is very poor with language and some of the vampire stories can be seriously sickly). I know the hesitation comes from the same snobbish part of my brain as the English teacher. And then I remember the books I read as a young adult – Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew…and, wait, Mills and Boons – hardly Shakespeare quality, don’t you think?

    I merely make sure the kid does not read books with too much violence ( note “too much” – if I swore of violence completely, we wouldn’t have Harry Potter, would we?) or explicit sexual content – but sometimes its ok if they come across it – they need to grow up anyway. My daughter read “The perks of being a wallflower” before I had a chance to warn her; I was troubled that she read explicit sexual content not appropriate for her age, but then…well, she will figure it out anyway.

    Reading books in the digital age is important. If we are going to be judgemental about the books based on our own snobbish opinions, its not going to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely – I think a lot of YA books might not be suitable for a slightly younger audience but you’re right when you say that they’re going to have to grow up at some point and if not in books, then where else will they see or hear about it? That’s another important thing – it’s so necessary to give kids relevant books in an age where computers and smart phones reign supreme. Totally! Preventing young people (and people in general) from reading what they want to read isn’t going to help anyone (or society) in the long run. Thanks for your comment! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Totally in agreement with you! I think young adult is such an important genre! Not only is the genre entertaining but also educational and reminds us adults what it’s was like to be teenagers and the importance of those experiences, because those experiences effect us for the rest of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! I totally agree with you, that’s a really good point. Some of the things that YA books talk about still affect me as an adult. I don’t think they’ll ever stop being relevant to me in one way or another, even as I continue to get older (noooo). Thanks for your comment! πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. YES Sammie! ❀ What a great response back to this idiot. I don't actually think this guy has read a single YA novel in his life-I think he thinks YA is only the Twilight sparkly romance side? I'm 23 and I still love YA. Sure some of them are a bit cheesy and gossipy, but as you said some deal with some REALLY serious issues like mental health and rape. Never have I related to a 'classic' novel like Pride and Prejudice or To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, is adult literature any better? Or does he ignore some of the women's contemporary and erotic fiction (ahem 50 shades of no?). I'm always really bad at debates and things but you get the points across perfectly. πŸ™‚ This was a delight to read and I hope critics like Joe Nutt take note and really step back before saying such misguided generalising statements. Thank you for this post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! ❀ I agree, I doubt he's read any modern or contemporary YA. I totally agree with you – there are good and bad sides of any genre and that applies to movies, TV and music as well as books! You can't say all adult literature is Dan Brown, so why make the comparison between all YA and Twilight? I have no major problem with Twilight personally, but that just shows ignorance and a lack of research. Aw thank you so much! That's good to hear because I bashed this post out in such a fit of rage haha. No – thank you for your comment, I really do appreciate it! ❀ x

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Well said everything. I am 20++ and I still read ya and I will always stick up for that genre.
    As probably every ya reader (I hope not) I had comments thrown at me that I can’t be a “real reader” if I read ya books. I don’t have to stress out that those people (they are from my private life and I know them very well so I know that kind of stuff) have never in their life read ya book, but judge based on guess – Twilight (which they haven’t read).
    I learned to not pay attention to those kind of comments because I realized that
    1. they get absolutely nothing from trying to put me down with their comments except maybe a one-second-long satisfation and
    2. They are ones who lose bc they are missing out on ya but puting it in a certain box when they didn’t even give it a chance.
    One way minded people are usually their own “enemies”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to this comment! Thank you for taking the time to read my post. πŸ™‚

      Ah yes, the ‘real reader’ or ‘shouldn’t you read something for adults?’ comments! Those are my favourite type of comments. I totally agree with you! As far as I’m concerned, reading is a very personal experience and no matter what people say, you have the freedom to read what you want, when you want; whether that’s Wuthering Heights or Divergent! As long as you’re getting enjoyment or satisfaction out of it, then who cares. Reading isn’t about getting one up on someone else!

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  15. I have to agree, because there’s almost no way to become literate if you don’t read. Even if it’s not for one language. I remember my own mother tongue teacher ask me to not bring a certain book to school despite it still being a book. And that YA not making us able to become literate. That’s a complete lie, as this genre is something I would always enjoy no matter how bad some of the books sometimes are there. Because there are always jewels there which I completely adore

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  16. Highly interesting post which goes to show that YA is still marginalised. I’ve just recently finished my Masters in Publishing and I aim to work in editorial in future at a London publisher (preferably sooner rather than later) so I’ve learnt quite a bit about publishing. YA is hugely popular and if it gets teenagers reading, fantastic. You do get trends where there are suddenly lots of similar-looking, similar-feel books every now and then – vampire romance for example – but at the end of the day, publishing is a business and they’ll try to cater for that.

    I personally found this passage interesting as well:

    “I recently met a sales director for a major UK educational bookseller who was in despair at the way school libraries no longer held any of those crucially exciting, factual books, and were emptying shelves of those oddly shaped volumes packed with superb illustrations and fascinating facts so often responsible for connecting children’s minds to the real world and the privileges of a civilised culture.”

    I’d love to know which bookseller Mr Nutt was referring to; perhaps Pearson or Scholastic? But I would suggest that part of the reason why school libraries no longer have the same amount of these factual books is simply down to costs. Everything in the UK is having its spending cut at the moment (apart from MP and bankers wages of course but that’s a different story). School libraries have to make decisions with limited money and given the choice, they’re far more likely to pick entertaining novels which are more likely to be borrowed than the factual stuff.

    As for asking where are those vital books to introduce teenagers to the real, adult world, well, surely teenagers, and other people, buy YA to be entertained not educated. Isn’t educating about the adult world the job of parents, schools and other authority figures? If a book’s not entertaining, it’s certainly not going to be bought.

    I don’t know if you’ve come across this article, it’s a little old now, but you’ll probably find it interesting; it’s about how sensationalism books like Harry Potter, anything by Terry Pratchett and Game of Thrones are frightening and bad for children (despite the latter definitely not being for kids!) and that they should learn and love the classics instead (like Shakespeare which is full of death, magic, etc.)
    http://www.theacornschool.com/news/the-imagination-of-the-child/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. πŸ™‚ I’m so sorry it’s taken me such a long time to reply – I’ve been moving house so have been a little distracted. I promise I’m not usually this rude, haha.

      Exactly. Times are tough and I think many state schools consider themselves particularly lucky if they even have a space that they can use as a library now. Most no longer even have librarians – that’s what happens when the government makes such incredibly drastic cuts as you’ve pointed out. I totally agree with you. I think it’s also the case now that a lot of factual information for teenagers that previously would have been in print format is now accessible in the form of online journals, zines and eBooks which libraries do take advantage of. They save costs and they save space, which as you’ve said can then be used for the entertaining stuff that’s more likely to be borrowed. Win-win.

      I totally get what you’re saying. Most people primarily read fiction for enjoyment and you’re right when you say that the responsibility of educating young people also lies with parents, the education system and the government, not just the publishing industry or YA books although I do think that many YA books are doing a fantastic job of encouraging young people to talk/think about issues like mental health, sexual assault, race, LGBT+ issues and relationships.

      Oh my God – yes! I read that article a little while ago and I was just flabbergasted by the absolute ridiculousness of it. How someone can spout such nonsense and be in a position to educate young people is absolutely beyond reason as far as I’m concerned! Thank you so much for sharing it though and for your comment in general. πŸ™‚

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