Parents: Evil Book-Banners or Teen Advocates?
I'm at the last day of the YA Lit Symposium listening to "Hit List or Hot List: How Teens Read Now," and Barry Lyga (BOY TOY), Julie Anne Peters (LUNA), and Coe Booth (KENDRA) are discussing the censorship of their books.
When it comes to "edgy" novels, I'm struck by a growing tension between authors, librarians, publishers, and parents -- all in the name of getting good stories into the hands of teens. The fear of extremism on both sides is limiting even the start of what could be reconciling conversations.
Instead of tearing down community, couldn't "controversial" novels be a vehicle to strengthen relationships between everyone who cares about teens, including the young people we're trying to protect and empower?
To do this, though, we can't deal with parents as adversaries. Apart from the age-banding suggestion that's coming from across the Atlantic, how might YA librarians, publishers, and authors earn the trust of the silent majority of parents who aren't censors but are concerned about age appropriateness when it comes to content in novels?