Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Book Police
Remember that post last week when we discussed f-bombs in young adult books? Seems like we're not the only ones talking about it. Except now people are actually discussing the need to rate young adult books à la movie style--you know, PG, PG13, R, etc.
Apparently there was an article in the US News & World Report about rating YA books like films, which spurred some interesting commentary, including one in the Huffington Post and another by YA author, Gayle Foreman, among others.
What's not clear is whether there is a move to rate strong language or rate the content. In my humble opinion, rating either is tricky, even dangerous, and takes away yet another level of responsibility for parents. You want to know what your kids are reading? Read the books they read. Talk to them about the books they read. To anyone who says to me, "But I don't have the time," I say, "Turn off your damn cell phone, get off Facebook, and shut the TV. You'll have plenty of time you never thought you had."
If a book is just a string of curse words with no compelling story, trust me, your kid won't want to buy (or borrow) that author's next book. But don't miss an opportunity to have a discussion about it with your kids. They might not realize the importance of that conversation today, but they will appreciate it in ten years--maybe 20 years, for some. ;-)