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Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Days since YA controversy: 0
msauvage purple
cleolinda
Internets, I may or may not go see X-Men today, so in the limited amount of time I have, I will simply give you a (a, not the) Twitter-reaction round-up to the Wall Street Journal article about how YA is bad and it should feel bad ("It was all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff"). I don't feel like I really have to take it apart sentence by sentence, because it is so incredibly, self-evidently wrong in its wrongness to anyone who has actually read YA books.

@maureenjohnson: The Wall Street Journal has done it again. I am going to have some kind of an episode. *quivers* http://on.wsj.com/lwuPNd

@maureenjohnson: Just curious, @wsj, do you have some kind of WRITTEN POLICY that you will only let idiots write about YA? Is it, like, a THING?


[As an aside, I just now had this conversation:

@annejumps: Meghan Cox Gurdon wrote that WSJ article about YA lit I've been seeing discussion about.

@cleolinda: I don't know anything about her?

@annejumps: She's a right-wing nut who once was dubbed America's Worst Mother in the halcyon days of 2004. I saw the byline and was like, Oh

@Salome: Meghan Cox Gurdon has made a career boasting of being a terrible mother. So it's no surprise that she wouldn't allow her children to read.

@cleolinda: BOASTING?

@Salome: How do you get a baby to sleep during the night? "...break the poppet's spirit."

@cleolinda: Is... is that an actual quote?

Yeah... it is.]


@maureenjohnson: I guess the @wsj thought what we needed was another fear-mongering non-reader to let us know what teens and readers REALLY need. Thanks!

@lilithsaintcrow: I find it interesting that the @wsj piece on YA fiction doesn't't have a quote from a single young reader.

@DreamingReviews: @maureenjohnson Do you perchance know of a way we can email @wsj or the writer about those problems? As a teen, I find it degrading.



@particle_person: Also that argument that it's up to adults to determine their children's tastes is just repellant.

@cleolinda: @particle_person Do people just really not remember at all what it was like to be a kid? Because kids are surprisingly knowledgeable.

@cleolinda: @particle_person They don't take off their baby bonnets on graduation day, for God's sake.

@cleolinda: Pretty much exactly. RT @sesmithwrites: @cleolinda Oh gosh, is the WSJ concerntrolling for page views again?

@particle_person: @cleolinda Hah, now I want a New Yorker cartoon: "Our page views are down this month, Bob. Time to write about YA again."

@cleolinda: @particle_person "We got anyone around here who flunked J-school?"

@keristars: @cleolinda Also, the gender-segregation of the titles. I knew lots of boys who *loved* A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in 9th grade.

@admiral_ryn: @cleolinda Things like that article make me wonder what peeps think about my daughter getting Bram Stoker for her b-day.

@cleolinda: Makes me wonder what they'd think of my 6th class reading a Dracula excerpt for our reading speed test. ~THINK OF THE CHILDREN~

@cleolinda: 6th GRADE class, rather. That's right: tender 11-year-olds were subjected to Lucy getting bitten FOR CLASS.

@cleolinda: Clearly this is why the world is going to hell as we speak. Eleven-year-olds are allowed to READ THINGS.

@fullofstars: @cleolinda Or reading The Lottery in 8th grade, it was in one of those reading skills textbooks.

@cleolinda: @fullofstars Absolutely, we did too. And "A Rose for Emily."

And I'm pretty sure both those stories are still taught in schools to this day. And the teachers do point out what the end of the latter means, because otherwise, it doesn't make any sense. Enjoy your necrophilia, kids!



@maureenjohnson: This has happened before, @wsj. You don't seek out knowledgable writers for these articles. These articles do damage.

@maureenjohnson: What non-readers don't get: READING SAVES LIVES, EVERY DAY. I mean that quite literally. @wsj

@maureenjohnson: Did YA help you? Let the world know how! Tell your story with a #YAsaves tag. And copy the @wsj for good measure.

(Many replies involve commenters saying that YA books were their only lifeline when they were alone, abused, depressed, harming themselves, afraid to come out, and/or considering suicide. The last thing I heard was that there was something like 10,000 responses with that tag.)

@neilhimself: 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

@libbabray: ...from @elockhart - "I have a responsibility to my readers to tell the truth. I'm writing for your kids, not for you." 

(Libba Bray then goes on to talk at length about the wrongheadedness of the WSJ piece.

@ColleenLindsay: Comments on that @WSJ YA piece is hilarious. WItness this guy who thinks Ayn Rand will save our kids from trashy YA http://on.wsj.com/kctOKS  

@JackieKessler My response to the WSJ article that mentions [my book] RAGE: http://bit.ly/mUc6wr/ #YAsaves

@ZMarriott: The Zoë-Trope: RESPONDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE (in which I get my RANT on) thezoe-trope.blogspot.com/2011/06/respon… 

@maureenjohnson: Basically, @wsj...and I am not being snide, I'm being literal...this article is so poor, kids from around the country are laughing at it.

@SaundraMitchell: Dear @wsj, #yasaves http://twitpic.com/57dl97  


Dear @wsj, #yasaves on Twitpic


[Regarding the picture:] @neilhimself: What books do to young minds (& old, if we are lucky).

@eruanna317: What I love about that pic is that if the kid can show enough others what he's seen, eventually they'll pull down that wall


And finally:

@wsj: What young-adult fiction means to you: a selection of touching #YAsaves tweets http://bit.ly/myZFgt (Scroll with arrow keys.)

Yeah, that was the least you could do.  



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I love that they're concerned about darkness in books...and then they recommend Fahrenheit 451. Am I the only one who was totally freaked out by that book?

Yeah, there's this. And added to that is their failure to understand what the book is actually about. From their recommendation:

Teenagers whose families are maddeningly glued to screens may find Guy's rebellion bracingly resonant.

No, the book is really not about people who'd rather watch TV and play computer than read. It's about a society in which books are considered something that needs to be kept away from people because of the influence they can have of them. And if that isn't ironic in the light of that article, I don't know what is.

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