Books to re-balance the World
I know a Good Story / August 4, 2016

My sister, the educator, was grousing this week about an interesting blog post (sorry to say, not one of mine) on the question of whether Middle Grade and Young Adult books have gotten too “dark” for their target audience.   The post’s author made an eloquent argument to justify the current “serious” themes but Sis’s response was “There has to be a happy [book], every now and then. Well, that surprised me because my sister dear has never shied away from kids’ books with dramatic stories and tragic elements.  She’s the one who turned me on to Harry Potter and The Graveyard Book (great stories that both start out with murders) and as a teenager, she devoured every Judy Blume YA story-with-a-taboo as soon as it came out.  So I had to ask: “What’s the problem?  You like dark.” “Of course I do” she said.  “But every story pushed at kids right now right now is all about dark issues.  It’s dystopias and addiction and depression and death.  Every once in a while, people need to laugh too, you know?” “Well, yeah” I replied. “But didn’t the books you loved best as a kid usually bring on the tears?” (I wasn’t ready to concede.)…

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