I thought I'd repost from an earlier LJ entry I made last week on the whole @wsj YA article. It caused a lot of uproar and comments in Twitter land. Here's the article:
Also not long after Gurdon was interviewed here:
I read the article and had to roll my eyes. I grew up in a mostly religious home(well my mother anyway) and went to church every Sunday. In the meantime I was being abused by my father. I knew what he was doing was wrong and that something wasn't quite right with him. The one time I went and told a so-called friend, the next day she told me she had to get another friend as her father, who was in the bishopric of our church, told her, "No good girl says those disgusting things about her father."
I was the bad girl.
For years I thought I was to blame for the abuse. It was books that helped me. The Martin Luther King Library in South Sacramento, Ca was my savior during this dark time of my life. Books like THE OUTSIDERS and authors like Judy Blume also spoke to me.
Later, I was asked to share my story. I've written poetry dealing with my abuse. Others though have told me to just get over it. That it is my responsibility to only share uplifting materials with teens.
I can't help but remember when I was at the darkest point of my life. When I tried to kill myself as I couldn't deal with the abuse and holding these secrets anymore. I also think of how some books helped me during those times. How I wished Ellen Hopkins had been around. Her books are powerful and tug at the truth. A truth some adults want to hide.
I read this from that same article and cringe:
...Yet it is also possible—indeed, likely—that books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures...
Once again, some think if you don't talk about these issues, that maybe they'll go away. How can talking about them, normalize them? I don't get it. When my father was abusing me, that's all I heard. "Don't talk about it." "Just get over it" "You're strong" and even "God choose you to come to that family to help them".
No, these stories need to be told. There are others out there who live in shame, feel they are to blame, and even are bad girls or boys. These books are a life preserver to them.
There are other books out there for teens. If you don't want to read an edgier book that addresses sensitive topics, well, that's your choice. But don't take them away from others. These books are a light for those in a dark place.