Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why YA is Like Middle School

I've noticed in the past few weeks since the initial WSJ kerfluffle about dark YA that there seems to be at least one minor kerfluffle like that every week.

The good thing about that is that I get to use the word "kerfluffle" a lot.

The bad thing is that YA authors and readers always have to be on the defensive. It's like being the nerdy kid in middle school, always waiting for somebody to say something mean to you. And really, I've already done that once, no need to do it again.

And what do you do to make bullies on the playground go away?

Ignore them.

Yes, of course there are times we should speak up. The ones we keep defending ourselves against are the vocal minority after all. There are definitely times when we should make ourselves heard, because our opinions matter too.

But you know what? I think that our point has been made. The thousands of tweets and blog posts about #YASaves show that YA is important, that it has changed so many lives for the better and that it is a worthwhile genre. Thousands of heartfelt posts, against a few prominent and disgruntled articles.

You know what, YA community? You rock. I think YA authors and readers are some of the nicest, most creative, and most wonderful people. I love being a part of this community - it is a wonderful and supportive and kind community.

Keep on being awesome. Never forget that we are doing this because we love it, and that is something that matters far more than any nay-saying article ever could.

As for the nay-sayers:

Of course you are entitled to your opinion. So are we. Now, excuse me, I'll be on my merry way.


  1. I don't think YA = the playground geek... it's the BAMF everyone's jealous of! ;)

  2. Nicely said. I hated middle school and don't really have much interest in arguing. So I'll just keep on being awesome ;)

  3. Ellen: Well said! :)

    Linda: I think everybody hated middle school. Middle school was just hellish.

    Marquita: Haha, thanks. :)

  4. I love the word kerfuffle. :)

    And I agree ... There seems to be all this hatred for the YA genre, assuming it's all shallow crap about vampires. Another recent article came out, where some YA author was saying how writing YA was so much fun because it was like reliving high school, and it was so easy because teenagers don't care about the quality of what they read and all they care about is getting a sequel ... Ugh.

    I commented of course, only to be attacked by people who were like, "Well if teens want to read good literature they should just read adult books!" *headsmack*

    I do think teens should read adult books, but they also need to read about characters they relate to. It was evident from the #YAsaves explosion that YA literature helps––and indeed, saves––a lot of teenagers.

    I agree, there's no point trying to talk sense into haters. They're all just a bunch of snobs. The YA community is so amazing and full of hope and love. <3 Haters are just missing out.