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Mary Pearson on ‘What YA lit is and isn’t’

May 19, 2013

Mary Pearson, author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox, has her own website and has also posted a few blogs on One of these blogs, ‘What YA Lit is and isn’t‘ has some interesting points about (adolescence and) young adult fiction…

Pearson observes:

I wonder if everyone’s very strong opinions about this one segment of literature comes from our attitudes about the teen years? We fear them. We want teens to “get over it” quickly, and heck, let’s not mess with books that just dwell more on the teen years! Move on! How many times have you heard someone practically offer condolences to someone upon hearing they have teenagers? I’ve never understood that. Maybe that’s why I like writing about the teen experience. I find it amazing. Let’s face it. When we are teens we ARE adults, albeit young ones. Hm. Young. Adults. I wonder how they came up with that? And we are making important and complex decisions. It’s a fascinating period in life. Why shouldn’t there be books that explore it?” …

The Adoration of Jenna Fox“I think sometimes there is still this basal reader mentality when it comes to teen books, like it is a stepping stone to the “grown-up stuff.” Basal Reader Year 10. Hm, no. It is simply its own unique type of literature that explores the teen experience.” …

YA books are not meant to raise children. They are everything any adult book is. They are entertainment. They are a place to see ourselves. They are a place to get lost for a few hours. They are a place to make us think and wonder and imagine. They are a place to evoke anger, disagreement, discussion, and maybe tears. Books have no other responsibility than not to make the reader hate reading.”


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