Radio Times

Is Young Adult Fiction Too Dark?

July 6, 2011


Avid reader Miana Breed at home in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karen Tam)

Hour 2

There’s a debate going on about young adult fiction.  In an article in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago, children’s book critic MEGHAN COX GURDON argued that young adult books (or YA for short) have become too dark and depressing.  She wrote “kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings are now just part of the run of things in novels directed, broadly speaking, at children from the ages of 12 to 18.”  Gurdon’s essay sparked strong reactions on all sides of the issue from YA fans, writers, parents, booksellers and librarians.  This hour, guest host Tracey Matisak explores the state of young adult fiction with guests MEGHAN GURDON and young adult book author MAUREEN JOHNSON. We’ll also hear from teenager MADELEINE KEMPER, an aspiring writer and avid reader of YA fiction.

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