Why You Should Read Books Your Kids Are Reading

When multi-published YA author Robin McKinley’s novel Deerskin hit shelves in 1994, the story was considered her first foray into adult fiction. Why? The story contained a scene in which a girl is raped and the text contains the F-bomb. At the time, this was not considered appropriate content in the YA market.

Times have changed.

Fast-forward fourteen years to 2008, to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s novel Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, in which readers encounter graphic sexual content between several characters and, on a single page, the F-bomb is dropped no less than 25 times.

(Side soap box moment: if this had been any other word, the editor would have cut 24 of those occurrences. Seriously. Imagine how boring “very” would be on a page 25 times. Why didn’t it get cut? Two words: Controversy sells.)

So what does this mean for today’s thirteen year-olds? It certainly means … Continue reading