Last Friday, Cory Doctorow published an essay in Locus in response to questions he's received from concerned parents about sex and drinking in his YA novel, Little Brother. Doctorow (also the parent of a young daughter) presents a balanced, thoughtful perspective in what he calls his "Teen transgression in YA literature FAQ."
Teenagers take risks, even stupid risks, at times. But the chance on any given night that sneaking a beer will destroy your life is damned slim. Art isn't exactly like life, and science fiction asks the reader to accept the impossible, but unless your book is about a universe in which disapproving parents have cooked the physics so that every act of disobedience leads swiftly to destruction, it won't be very credible. The pathos that parents would like to see here become bathos: mawkish and trivial, heavy-handed, and preachy.
In The New York Times Book Review "Field Guide to Fairies", Regina Marler looks at the allure of YA novels trafficking in the tortured loves of mortals and fairies:
It's not just the dark lovers that allure and threaten. Passion itself feels alien at this age, the point at which choices--the dangerous lover who enchants versus the dependable boy next door--can have lasting consequences.
Featuring: Eyes Like Stars, Wings, Ash, Fairy Tale, and Fragile Eternity.
YARN (Young Adult Review Network),
a new litmag for readers ages 14 and up, launches their site, announcing their impending kick-off in winter 2010. The magazine (which accepts submissions from young adults as well as "fogies over 18") will feature fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews, as well as a "What We're Reading Now" series, with editors asking readers what YA books they're into. (via YA & Kids Books Central)
At Bookslut, Colleen Mondor rounds up books "on war around the world, both declared and not, that older teens in particular will find both compelling and engaging."
Out this week: Deadly Little Lies, book two in Laurie Faria Stolarz's Touch series.