Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snobbery and Young Adult and Children's Literature

I share this only to address the too commonly held snobbery, which this article perpetuates, that says a book written for adults is superior to one written for children, or young adults, simply because it was written for adults. By that reasoning, Fifty Shades of Grey is superior to The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird or Hunger Games. Dan Brown is superior to Robert Cormier, E.B. White, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis or Roald Dahl. Lord of the Flies is a YA novel, so is The Catcher in the Rye; should they be dismissed as inferior to Hunt for Red October or Carrie? I don’t know why this snobbery exists, maybe it’s because children’s and YA books, similar to sci-fi, fantasy and horror, tend to address issues in a more subversive way (Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor's New ClothesThe Ugly Duckling) and some adults don’t see it because they aren’t looking. Or, perhaps, it’s because some adults see themselves as being more important than children and therefore anything made for them is by extension more worthy. If that is case they would do well to remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” 

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