The Value of YA Lit

Today in my college writing course, we looked at a reading that basically dissed all other kinds of literature in order to make the point that classic literature is important to read. The author was a middle school English teacher who argued that kids should choose classic books for summer reading over books about “divorce and kissing” that they “could have comprehended in the fourth grade.” As an avid reader of YA lit, I was quite offended by her dismissal of this ever-growing genre and have been inspired to write a brief series of posts in order to illustrate the importance of YA lit.

First, I’d like to introduce some of the myths surrounding YA lit:

1. It’s not “real” literature

2. It’s not a real genre

3. It has no value in the classroom

4. Kids won’t learn anything from it

5. YA books are just for kids who are slow readers and/or don’t like to read

6. The books are all about sex, violence, and drugs

7. It’s just a transition to adult literature



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