Defending YA Lit

It seems we’re in the midst of another round of national media articles saying there’s–gasp!–sex and what not (quick: somebody call Judy Blume!) in young adult literature.

The headlines tend to read like warnings, and in one of the latest, a parent suggests the need for “ratings” on books. Overgeneralizations abound, the tone is anywhere from smug to alarmed, and it’s clear that sources are not, shall we say, particularly well read in the field.

I sort of put these in the same category as the periodic articles about high school and college students drinking beer–breaking news that. Certainly, GenX, GenY, and the boomers never drank beer. Uh-hem.

At the same time, I wish that we in the YA community were more organized with responses. We’re brilliant, articulate, and we actually know what we’re talking about. We’ve poured years of thought into the subject. Maybe we should start thinking about putting some letters to the editor in the queue. After all, it’s not as though we don’t know what to expect from our (usually) ill-informed critics. Let’s talk back!