a world wide trend it appears

In the way that you do, I stumbled on this article from the Wall Street Journal which discusses exactly the ideas that prompted this blog. Go read the whole article if you have a chance. The journalist Katie Roiphe mentions several bestsellers, all of which have disturbing sounding plots.

Here's something that I wonder about:
"Teenagers have historically shown a certain appetite for calamity; they like a little madness, sadism and disease in the books they curl up with at night."

Do you think that's true? I remember moving from The Secret Seven into my Sweet Valley High phase, embarrassing but true. From there into some terrible Judith Krantz, and then all the *canon* that I was supposed to read.

I don't mean to sound like some sort of ingenue. But the DARK SIDE never really drew me in. What has changed that teens today are "curling up with these books"?

And then there's this:

"It’s easy to assume that this new batch of young-adult books peddles despair. In fact, the genre is more uplifting than the fizzy escapism that long dominated the young adult marketplace. Today’s bestselling authors are careful to infuse the final scenes of these bleak explorations with an element of hope..."

They DO peddle despair! And as a teacher, I have to worry that some teens might normalise these behaviours/ people/ events.

And does a happy ending counteract all the preceding misery?

Food for thought!

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