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Are young adult novels worth reading?
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Young adult novels gently introduce difficult real-life issues

Young adult novels and their many sub-genres are a safe space for authors to sensitively introduce their readers to politically or emotionally challenging issues.

The Argument

Beverley Naidoo's Carnegie winning novel, "The Other Side of Truth," shines a light on the themes of death of a parent, racism, political asylum, detention centers, and bullying. Naidoo's young protagonists endure many hardships but become the heroes of their story and get the happy ending her readers are hoping for. Police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement is central to Angie Thomas' young adult novel, "The Hate U Give." In "The Hunger Games," Suzanne Collins puts a dystopian spin on political oppression. Annabel Pitcher's "My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece" looks at family life after the loss of a child to a terrorist bomb. For supporters of young adult novels, they are a way for young people and adult readers to become invested in the characters and what happens to them. Young adult fiction gently encourages curiosity about the world we live in. It is a window into other people's lives and tragedies and a place of common ground for those with shared experiences. They share a message of hope that life's hardships can be overcome.[1]

Counter arguments

Young adults are still children, and children should not be exposed to difficult themes in Young Adult books. In 2017, Angie Thomas' "The Hate U Give" was banned in a school in Katy, Texas, after a parent complained due to the story's inappropriate language and sexually suggestive content.[2] The book has received other complaints from adults who felt it was not appropriate reading for young people because the "f" word is used over 89 times, and there are references to drugs. In addition to this, there are implications that "The Hate U Give" presents a rebellious anti-police sentiment that sends out an irresponsible message to young people.[3] The difficult themes in young adult novels take away a young person's innocence.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/12/why-so-many-adults-are-love-young-adult-literature/547334/
  2. https://www.vulture.com/2017/12/the-hate-u-give-katy-texas-school-district-ban.html
  3. https://eu.news-leader.com/story/news/education/2018/01/31/sps-yanks-book-middle-school-after-parent-lawmaker-complain/1061974001/
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020 at 23:28 UTC

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