I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday, picking up a Valentine’s Day gift for my wife. This freeze-your-butt-off-every-cotton-pickin’-day Global Warming is getting her down. Maybe Hercule Poirot could cheer her up.
Naturally, I paused to look at the offerings in the Young Adults section. As usual, I wish I hadn’t.
For reasons which may be supernatural, for all I know, grown-up authors are frantically churning out books about sexual confusion, social pathologies, self-destructive fads like “cutting” yourself, seasoned with depictions of teens using “magic” to circumvent adult authority and get anything and everything they want. This is what they think youngsters should be reading. Why? All we get is a lot of half-baked twaddle about “you shouldn’t try to hide from kids what the world is like.”
So again we run head-on into the sophomoric credo that whatever is evil, ugly, or painful is “realistic,” and whatever is good, beautiful, or wholesome is just a delusion. This is how stupid people pretend they’re smart.
So what have you got for your children and grandchildren to read? And maybe more to the point, what are their “teachers” and school librarians urging them to read? You’d better look into that–you might get a rather nasty surprise.
There are books out there–and have always been, so far–that offer a positive vision: books that don’t seek to fill the teenage reader’s head with toxic garbage. You ought to be looking for them.
And when you find some, please let me know.