Wednesday, 8 June 2011

bad books (don't exist)

Young Adult Fiction: Die for Me by Amy Plum, Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This week I'm writing about books, they occupy a big part of my day: may be reading or giving me some ideas for my creations. About the title: there's a Portuguese forum about literature that I visit sometimes, its name is Bad Books Don't Exist and I think it's appropriate for today's post.

I read an article today about Young Adult fiction that I had to share with you. Have you read Darkness Too Visible from Meghan Cox Gurdon? I'm four days late, but there are discussions that we can't leave behind. If you didn't go read it and then come back to our little discussion.

This so-called journalist clames that Young Adult fiction needs to be about happiness and pretty things. In her own words: "a careless young reader (...) will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds."

We live in an ugly world, just face it. There are violence and crimes everywhere. When I go to youtube I just see this horrible comments how your taste sucks or racist/homophobic insults. And watching the news is horrible: murderers, pedophiles, sexual assaults and even violations. We live in a dark world and do you want your child to read fairytales and close her in a redome of "(sugar, spice and) everything-nice"? And what will happen when se has to face the real world? Probably she will be another racist person, because she only knows one reality (white little princesses with their blond hairs with a with a witch by one side and a prince charming by the other).

YA helps teenagers to face problems otherwise would be taken away from them. Taboos shouldn't be completely erased from our lives. There are things we don't talk with our parents or teachers and others we don't even talk with our friends. And teenagers aren't innocent. Those kind of books will help/warn and not corrupt them.

Young adult fiction, like all the other books, lets us get in touch with another world and feel blessed of not being on that situation or realizing that they're not the only ones and have hope that that will change.

Banishing books like these won't soften our kids and won't make them more happy or tender, but surely will develop their moral values: better ones. Reading about an homossexual assault will hurt them and they will feel how it's like to be beaten for no reason. They'll think twice before looking at them differently. And this is just an example.

I think it's worst to live in a fantasy where good people are beautiful and bat people are ugly and the good will always win.

When I was a teenager I didn't think if that book was for my age and my parents didn't prohibited me of reading this or that book. I know that at the 90's there wasn't such "darken" books, as Meghan calls it, but I played on the street, where people say bad things happen, and it did me no warm. I'm a good person after all, my moral values aren't damaged and I'm happy.

P.S. Don't forget to take a look at the comments, it's always good to read different stories and perspectives.
P.P.S. "(sugar, spice and) everything nice" is not only a quote from Powerpuff Girls. It's an excerpt of a nursery-rhime, dated from 1820 about what boys and girls are (well, were) made of. It's called "What are little boys made of".

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