Booking Through Thursday: Being Prepared

Booking Through Thursday

A meme from Booking Through Thursday.

Today’s topic is “Another question raised by YA author A.S. King‘s blog post last week which touched on censorship—especially as it pertains to young adult books.

She writes:

If there really is [an ideal] town like this in America, I am happy about that. Really truly happy. But are your teenagers going to stay in that town forever? Don’t you want them to go to college? Or go out in the world and do stuff? And don’t you want them to be prepared for all of these real things that happen all the time in real life? Don’t you want them to know that they will make mistakes? Don’t you want them to learn how to make smarter mistakes?

Fiction can help. I write my books for one reason, whether they are for adults or teens. I write to make readers think. I write to widen perspective. I write to make readers ask questions and then answer the questions or start conversations. And I write sometimes to give voice to the throwaways, of which our society has many, but we usually hide them because we are still uncomfortable with what we see as our own mistakes. Make sure you say that in a whisper. Throwaways.

And so … this, right here, pretty much explains exactly WHY I like reading so much. Yes, it’s fun and entertaining and diverting, and all that, but ultimately, it TEACHES me things. It broadens my horizons and makes me look at ideas and people and life in general in new and interesting ways. Isn’t that what reading and art in general is SUPPOSED to do? How do you feel about this? Do you agree? Disagree? Discuss!”

I don’t know that it is necessarily why we read, but it is definitely one of the perks. We dislike books that try to hard to teach us. Rather we prefer those that simply show us something and let us think for ourselves. I think King gets it right, but you have to subtle. You can’t give the answers, just the questions really. I always think it is interesting that the dark side of life, truly gritty and disgusting reality in books is always easier to stomach in fantasy or science fiction. We still get the message but without the discomfort of it being too close to home.

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