Last Chance

Donate by midnight to be automatically entered to with an iPhone 11 Pro and to give a meal to a person in need through Philabundance. Both offers end tonight!

Donate now

Is Young Adult Fiction Too Dark?


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.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 070611_110630.mp3]

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.