Friday, April 26, 2013

Too Much Romance in YA Books?

The Huffington Post has a column by Elizabeth Vail here complaining about the number of YA books that have romances in them.  She feels that often the romances aren’t important to the book as a whole, and are basically just shoveled in.

You know, I don’t care if YA books are all about squirrels having romantic relationships with mice, as long as kids are enthusiastically reading these books, and posting positive reviews on Amazon. 

In my 37 years of teaching high school English, the one truth I took away from education was that all of the top students were avid readers.  Avid readers read better, write better, concentrate better in class, and have wide-ranging frames of reference that make all learning easier.

And from these avid readers I learned that books lead to books.  They all started out loving books most adults consider schlock—R.L. Stine horror books, formula-driven mysteries and romances, even comic books.  Few kids who skipped this junky book stage ever really developed as avid readers.

Let’s celebrate that more of our young people are reading now, rather than nitpicking their choices.

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