Ruth Graham’s June 5 SLATE piece about grown-ups who read young adult novels has sent reading and book-loving opinionators into something of a tizzy. The piece was titled “Against YA“, and even more provocatively subtitled “Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarassed when what you’re reading was written for children.”
I giggled with embarrassment. Not.
Them’s fighting words, Ruth Graham. And who are you anyway?
I will resist joining the chorus defending both myself and the various pleasures and virtues of reading children’s books — and not just YA but even books for younger readers (gasp!).
Suffice it to say that the subtitle was certainly chosen as a way to draw in readers, and Graham’s piece was much more thoughtful and provocative than a simple “shame on you!” Really interesting questions emerge both there and in the debate that has followed: about pleasure and reading, literature and not-literature, the changing nature of adulthood, youth culture, sexism and books, parenting, child development, and more. If you’ve missed the hubbub, jump in and see what you think!