Two years ago, I met a young man attending one of the most elite private high schools in the country. He quietly spoke to me of his agony. What kind of pain could a millionaire’s child be suffering? He hadn’t been physically or sexually abused. He hadn’t ever been hungry. He’d never seen one person strike another in anger. He’d never even been to a funeral. So what was his problem?
“I want to be a writer,” he said. “But my father won’t let me. He wants me to be a soldier. Like he was.”
He was seventeen and destined to join the military. Yes, he was old enough to die and kill for his country. And old enough to experience the infinite horrors of war. But according to Ms. Gurdon, he might be too young to read a YA novel that vividly portrays those very same horrors.
"Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood"
I can't quote the whole thing and have it still be quotation. So just go read it. I'm going to write to Mr. Alexie soon (just ordered his YA novel, too)... what a writer.
He says what I was trying to say last week. Books to me are the sword in the darkness. Reading is my weapon of choice to defend myself from the awful things in the world which would hurt me and cut me down. I really hope the misguided article by Meghan Cox Gurdon that started this whole brouhaha will have the opposite effect and get people--teens and adults alike--reading more of the dark materials.