Sunday, June 8, 2014

Against YA? Not me!

On Thursday, as I worked on editing my young adult novel to prepare it for WIFYR, Ruth Graham published an article entitled Against YA. If you don't want to read the article (but I think you should), the basic gist is that YA lit is undeserving of our attention because it is shallow, and that as adults, we should all be ashamed to read it.

I kind of despise Graham's article for a number of reasons, most of which are argued very well by Alyssa Rosenberg in her response article. And another by Elisabeth Donnelly.Instead of writing my own, I'm going to have you read theirs. Also, because I'm spending too much time writing YA lit to take time to defend it. I know what I like and what is worthy.

I have read many YA novels that explore the human condition in deep and brilliant ways, and I would never be ashamed to say that I find YA lit extremely satisfying, on a number of levels. Including intellectual ones.

In the end, I just want to remind you that you are allowed to like whatever you want. I still meet people (grown-ups) who say, "I'm a big nerd. I love ________," in a self-deprecating way, as if it's bad to love things that inspire and uplift you. (When I was a kid, it was bad to be a nerd, so I understand why a lot of grown-ups have a hard time shedding this paradigm.)

Don't be ashamed of the things that uplift you, inspire you, and give your life greater meaning. No matter what they are.

Shame on Graham for trying to make us feel bad about that which brings us joy.

What are YOUR favorite YA novels?


  1. Loved this, and I love and miss you! My all time favorite YA author is Madeleine L'Engle. Heck, I even named my daughter after her! :)

    1. Thanks for reading! I love L'Engle too. I still haven't read A Ring of Endless Light. But I need to.


What do you think?