The YA blogosphere has been up in arms this week over a piece in this past Sunday’s Wall Street Journal decrying the current state of YA fiction as “rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?” Responses have been fast and furious, with an especially cutting blog post from Roger Sutton of the Horn Book that takes the Journal to task for not knowing its YA history. Also, check out Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog for a very well-argued (and deeply personal) response.
Myself, I’ve never really been drawn to super-dark YA—despite multiple attempts, I’ve just never gotten into Chris Lynch or Ellen Hopkins, though I can certainly appreciate their talents—but philosophically, I strongly believe there’s a place for dark YA in teen literature. And as a side note, I was really intrigued by Laurie’s comment that those who complain about dark YA tend to have younger kids–never thought of the YA bogeyman as an object of anticipated fears, though it makes total sense.
Whatcha think? Has contemporary YA grown too dark, or is it following in what is now a well-established literary tradition? Is there such a thing as too dark? Anyone find their opinions changing due to the age of their kids? Please, share, discuss, sound off, etc.