Wednesday, March 14, 2012

With our powers combined...

OK, folks, so I'm really REALLY excited about my final thesis project, in which I plan to use Wordsworth's defense of  Lyrical Ballads in comparison to legitimizations of young adult literature.  Wordsworth managed to make space for himself in the canon; can YAL do the same, especially if it exhibits some of the traits Wordsworth presents?

I spoke with my advisor today who gave me the greenlight, and in the course of our discussion, he asked what I knew about the current defenses of YAL.  I talked a little bit about what I've seen so far; fortunately, they ARE out there, I am far from the first.  We talked about how it would make it even more compelling if there were YA authors who had done the same as Wordsworth did, with direct defenses of YAL legitimacy.  I do know that current YA authors are out there and talking about the genre and arguing for its acceptance as mature texts.

 I know it...I just...don't know where I've seen all of it.  I came up with a list of authors that I can either recall seeing commentary from or who are just particularly outspoken: Neil Gaiman, Chris Crutcher, and John Green (but where are my lady-authors, yo??).

SO!  My faithful YA-loving crew, have you seen anything from current YA authors in which they discuss critical reception to YA Lit or argue for its legitimacy?  Do tell!


  1. Maureen Johnson, maybe? I don't have any really good answers...but Leila Roy from Bookshelves of Doom will. And she answers emails. She is THE AWESOME. I have some gift cards I need to spend, and her recommendations/reviews are great. She's a librarian -- she'll know.

  2. There was that article in the Wall Street Journal maybe 8 or 10 months ago about how awful YA lit is because it's so dark - if you look up responses to it (Larry Ferlazzo had a post on them, I think), I'm pretty sure some were from authors. Also, I think Laurie Halsey Anderson has written a fair amount on censorship at least - maybe some crossover to what you're looking for?

  3. Sherman Alexie had a great response to the Wall Street Journal article, especially as it relates to his YA book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He doesn't go explicitly into critical reception, but it at least addresses the argument that dark and shocking conflicts and events in YA lit are pure prurience.

    Here's the link to Alexie's essay (which has a link to the original WSJ article):

  4. Laurie Halse Anderson is also outspoken. Here is a link to her response to the Wall Street Journal article: