Wall Street Journal Reporter Sparks Controversy with YA Readers

By Maryann Yin Comment

Wall Street Journal reporter Meghan Cox Gordon criticized themes of “explicit abuse, violence and depravity” in YA fiction over the weekend. As of this writing, her controversial essay has received 71 comments and 152 responses on Facebook.

Here’s more from the article: “Now, whether you care if adolescents spend their time immersed in ugliness probably depends on your philosophical outlook. Reading about homicide doesn’t turn a man into a murderer; reading about cheating on exams won’t make a kid break the honor code. But the calculus that many parents make is less crude than that: It has to do with a child’s happiness, moral development and tenderness of heart. Entertainment does not merely gratify taste, after all, but creates it.”

What do you think? The YA community responded with scores of online essays and the #YAsaves twitter hashtag. Below, we’ve listed tweets from several popular YA authors. The video embedded above features the band Tiger Beat performing their musical homage to the genre “YA Song.”

Neil Gaiman: I get letters from readers – 2 or 3 every month – telling me how my books got them through hell. & the Teens have the worst hells. #YAsaves

Melissa de la Cruz: Let the kids read what they want, leave ’em alone. But gosh, that brought a lot of traffic to @WSJ didn’t it?

Laurie Halse Anderson: Just blogged my thoughts about the ridiculously stupid @wsj article:http://tinyurl.com/42dkuct . What do you think? #YAsaves

Libba Bray: At 18, after a devastating car accident, reading helped save my life & led me to write. #YAsaves

Meg Cabot: Everyone should read what they like w/o being judged! http://tinyurl.com/3ggd62z#YAsaves #Romancesaves #Comixsaves #Horrorsaves