Yesterday an article called “Darkness Too Visible” appeared on the WSJ website slamming many YA realistic books for being “rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity”, suggesting that books on such painful topics will make teens ugly, or even, in the case of self-harm, encourage such behaviors. Scars was one of the books that the WSJ slammed.
YA author Maureen Johnson has been asking us all on Twitter: “Did YA help you? Let the world know how! Tell your story with a #YAsaves tag. And copy the @wsj for good measure.” YA writers, librarians, readers, bloggers, have all been raising their voices to show why YA books that deal with gritty issues are important, and why YA books in general are important and needed, including Libba Bray. So many people joined in that yesterday #YAsaves became the #3 trending topic in the US. I found the discussion and raising of voices incredible heartening. It moved me from hurt and my own triggers around what was said about Scars (my abusers used to frequently criticize me and threaten me to be silent) to feeling empowered, and reminded me that I’m part of a huge, vibrant, passionate community of book lovers. If you’re on Twitter, I hope you’ll consider joining in.
Even if you’re not on Twitter, you can see the archive of YAsaves tweets here: http://dft.ba/-ut9 Many of them are moving and validating about why we need YA books, whether they talk about painful issues or help us escape.