Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Kids these days!
On this week's Realgoodwords I'll talk with young adult author Jay Asher. His book, "Thirteen Reasons Why" is a bestseller. The title refers to the 13 reasons why Hannah Baker killed herself. Controversial? Hell yes. Kids though, can't get enough of it. So the question is: books about teen suicide, teen pregnancy, teen drug abuse, eating disorders....teen YOU NAME IT... does it lead to MORE of the "problem"? What appeals to young adults about the darker themes like these? Earlier this year I talked with bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson about her book "Wintergirls" which had to do with eating disorders. I asked her if there was any worry on her part that her theme/subject matter would actually ENTICE an eating disorder. She told me that if you are prone to an eating disorder - EVERYTHING would spur it on - TV, magazines, Internet....all of these things exist and a book that delves into the issue doesn't mean it is glorifying the problem. Or does it?
We are not living in the days of Nancy Drew and her boyfriend Ned Nickerson anymore. These tough issues that face teens aren't going away.... and some people think that kids need to know it's okay to read REAL stories and communicate about them.
What do you think?