The answer is anyone who wants to, No matter what age! What led me to blog about this is, I came across an article on Slate about ‘Against YA: Why adults should be embarrassed to read children’s books.’ I might only be 17 (until next week) but is a child and a young adult the same thing? Is YA literature the same as a children’s book? The post begins with “Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children.”
I found this statement extremely patronising towards teenagers, the whole article is implying that adults should feel embarrassed and ashamed to read YA, to have the same tastes as we do. It makes it seem like YA should not be taken seriously as literature. YA isn’t written for children, the genre isn’t called Young Adult for no reason- It is aimed at a younger audience but why should that mean that older audiences can’t read it? Everyone should read what they want to read and not feel any shame about it.
The YA genre often deal with serious subjects such as life and death, gender issues, race, sexuality. Examples of some best sellers revolving around these subjects are:
. The Fault in our Stars by John Green – deals with Cancer and death
. I’ll Give you The Sun by Jandy Nelson – deals with sexuality and death
. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – deals with suicide and mental illnesses
There is nothing childish about these subjects. Yes, it is educational in the sense that it helps young people to understand different issues in life but it raises awareness to adults too.
This isn’t a new subject to me because ever since I started reading YA, my dad has tried to steer me away from the genre. He doesn’t do this to patronise me, he has always encouraged me to “broaden my horizons” to try out different genre’s and I completely agree, everyone should venture out and try different reading material because you might just discover your new favourite book. I explained to my dad that I am willing to try new genres but I will probably always read YA too and my dad said he doesn’t care what I read, he is just happy that I do read. That is how it should be, read and be happy (don’t listen to other people’s judgements!)
Basically what I’m trying to say is when it comes to reading, age is just a number. Books are supposed to open minds, there should be no borders around what you should and shouldn’t read. No two reading experiences are the same.
Does anyone agree or disagree with what I’ve talked about? Leave a comment!