Thursday, January 12, 2012

Young Adult Fiction

So I know this is a weird subject for someone my age (29) who has no children to be writing about. But I actually, at times, enjoy fiction that doesn't take a lot of thought and just is a good read. Sometimes this can be found in fiction that is geared toward ages from 15 and up. Now the funny thing is some of the better science fiction writers of yesteryear wrote some excellent young adult fiction that was good fiction for the older sect too. These include writers such as Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Orson Scott Card. All three of these writers wrote books for adults, and books for all ages as well. Now as for today we don't have very many books that are good for all ages or really should be read by young adults. "Why shouldn't they be read by young adults?" you might ask. Well I will tell you. We have book series like Twilight that are poorly written and are written in a way that almost is calling the reader too dumb to understand more complex themes.

Fortunately we also have some series like The Hunger Games series that are well written, and have both simple themes and more complex themes for older readers who can handle those themes. Even Harry Potter is a great series for kids, because it pulls them in, maybe it isn't complex, but it is at least not pandering to people who aren't able to understand things that are slightly more adult. I may sound like a curmudgen here, but I just feel like kids these days should be challenged a little when they read, and shouldn't have everything handed to them. I remember reading Ender's Game the first time and thinking about the themes and characters for days after, because it stayed with you. This is an experience that writers steal from young adults when they write in a way that only plays to the lowest common denominator. Writers, please start writing for all ages, not for just kids who aren't able to grasp complex themes and characters.

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