So last week the Daily Mail ran an article on the teen book trend of 'sick-lit'. 'Sick-lit' being books that have some themes of self harm, cancer, depression, and death. Covers quite a wide range, really.
If I may interrupt for just one second: AAGGHH. Just a little pre-stress scream, before I go and re-read the article. I suggest you do the same. You'll need a good pre-stress scream before you read the article.
Now, understand that one of my favorite hobbies is going on the Daily Mail's website, and crying over it's own, specialized brand of stupidity, but I think this rather pushed the boat out. It's an almost perfect combination of the Mail's general opinions of 'Clever people are scary' and 'books are for weirdos'. I looked at the comments on this post, expecting a lot of outraged mumsnet goers, crying over their babies, but I was rather pleased with the mob screaming a rather loud "Get a grip."
I first heard of the article in a tweet for Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson), a very well respected young adult author, and good friend of John Green (realjohngreen), who's book, The Fault In Out Stars, the Mail seemed to find particular joy in ripping apart, and spoiling.
The general message of the article is "reading will break your children, due to all these IMMORAL BOOKS ABOUT DEATH THAT ARE NOW VERY FASHIONABLE". Ooh, dear.
For a start, I'd just like to back up The Fault In Our Stars. It's an incredible book, which, AMAZINGLY, has some themes outside of cancer. Like, y'know, love. And triumph over hardship. Good, nice messages, and proof that sometimes you do have to fight for love, and that life can be hard, but it's worth it in the end. Things that would want my non-existent children to know, to be honest.
So, yeah, article. "Children's book expert Amanda Craig is among those concerned about these books. She has been sent about 12 teen sick-lit books over the past year, but she feels so strongly she will not review them." Not that I want to judge, but if she won't review them, then I'm not sure she's a very good expert. I've read quite a few of the books mentioned in the article, and they're really not that bad. Apart from Red Tears, which was, if anything, boring. So I apologize if I'm inclined to not trust Ms Craig's opinion. I may trust her more of she actually had one.
But then on a rather different scale, there's, "When the Mail approached Penguin, the firm declined to make a statement..." Good. Hopefully with a muttered, "Piss off."
I'll leave you to take your own stance on the article. Just know that if you agree with it, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.