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The Controversial Age of YA Literature

Deanna Manzo

Anchor contributor

Photo via Fandomwire

The consensus of young adult books are the result of closed minds. Opening yourself up to worlds that aren’t your own can help you become aware of what’s going on in the world. Unfortunately, events are not always pleasant, people are not always nice, and life is not always black and white. Relating to characters in books can help teenagers come out of themselves whether that makes them reveal to the world they are homosexual, have an eating disorder, are considering suicide or are battling cancer. Books shape the way they think and create a wealth of knowledge to battle their demons.

Young adults don’t always have a support system in place, a parent, an aunt, perhaps a pastor. They have to figure things out on their own—go on a journey of self-discovery. Putting a book in their hands is like passing over the torch of freedom. They get to see through the eyes of many characters who feel just as alone as they do. It’s an awkward time in their lives, attending school trying to make the grade, handling cliques, not belonging and feeling like a failure.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling has been censored because of the magical elements in her books, but still, they continue to sell like hot cakes. People are consumed by their own beliefs and readers want to escape their everyday lives, and fly, or become someone otherworldly. We’re all different and need different things in order to survive, never mind thrive.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume is another censored book dealing with puberty and has a coming-of-age theme to it. Margaret is a novel about a girl figuring out her own sexuality. Let’s take a moment to remember what it was like to be that age, maybe we won’t be alarmed when an author tells the truth about adolescents. They may have saved a life, and showed a different perspective all together on what they’re going through. Most importantly, authors show adolescents that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


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