Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pssshtt ... Who says I have responsibilities?

Mary E. Pearson, author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox and, most recently, The Miles Between, has posted an amazing article entitled "What YA Lit Is and Isn't" over here. She talks about who writes YA, who should read it, and the general suspicion some people still have about the entire genre.

One of my favorite parts is where she discusses the responsibility YA writers have. Her conclusion? We don't. Here's a little bit of what she had to say:

Recently I’ve heard some discussion about the “responsibility” of YA books and YA authors. Oh, I hate that word when it comes to books ... 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.

Can I get an Amen? Seriously, the entire article is quite amazing, and if you write YA, you should check it out. I found myself nodding along and saying, "Right on!" more than once.

Now, perhaps I should finally get around to buying The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I've been meaning to for months now and just ... haven't. Too many books, so little time! Has anyone out there read it, or anything else by Pearson? If you haven't, def check out her article, at the very least!


TereLiz said...

Yes, I've hesrd great things about Jenna Fox, too. Pearson is right on when she says that the author doesn't owe the reader anything other than to tell an entertaining story.

Too many parents think YA lit should instill in kids the values that-- hello!-- are the parents' job to instill. Anyway, I won't rant about that here, but thanks for the link to such a great article!

Lisa and Laura said...

I keep meaning to read this book, but my TBR pile is huge. But now that I've read her article, I'm definitely going to get to it soon. Love her perspective!

Abby said...

Cool! Thanks for the link! I'm checking it out right now. :)

storyqueen said...

You know, her list of what the writer does owe the reader is pretty tall....especially like the part about not hating reading!

Thanks for posting this.


Donna Gambale said...

Great post! I believe this completely. There are so many misconceptions about YA.

jessjordan said...

Tere: rant away! I'm right there with you. :)

LiLa: If you beat me to it, let me know what you think!

Abby: You're very welcome.

Shelley: Now that you put it that way, I suppose we DO have a lot of responsibilities. Sheesh! :)

Donna: Sometimes I want to hand people (mostly delusional adults) a really good YA book--no, slap them over the head with it--and say, "You know what ... read this and then we'll talk."