Welcome to 2020, the year of retellings! From Macbeth to You’ve Got Mail and everywhere in between, we’ve got retellings galore! And that’s not all! Check out all of our 2020 books for teens below for your fill of adventure, revenge, and romance. Follow us on Twitter (@MacmillanLib) for all book-related news, on Instagram (@Macmillan_Lib) […]
Tag: Cracked Up to Be
August Librarian Preview
Earlier today we hosted our first ever Librarian Preview! In case you missed it, here are the highlights: Adult FIND ME | André Aciman | October 29, 2019 | 9780374155018 A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD | Therese Anne Fowler | February 4, 2020 | 9781250237279 THE GRAMMARIANS | Cathleen Schine | September 3, 2019 | 9780374280116 THE […]
We’re all about ALL THE RAGE!
We’re hopelessly devoted to Courtney Summers. We’ve been fans of her raw and realistic teen fiction since the very beginning. We were heartbroken by “Perfect” Parker Fadley’s shame spiral in CRACKED UP TO BE, watched the Fearsome Fivesome crumble in SOME GIRLS ARE, mourned the loss of Eddie Reeves’s father in FALL FOR ANYTHING and […]
While Anne’s Away…
Anne is taking a well-deserved vacation to her hometown of Tucson, AZ for the next week! When she’s not enjoying pool time or preparing for her baby shower, here’s what she’ll be reading: THE UNQUIET DEAD by Ausma Zehanat Khan This haunting debut follows detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty as they investigate the death […]
On #YASaves: Darkness in YA More Help Than Harm
I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who logged into Twitter over the weekend to find a new trend dominating the bookish conversations: #YASaves. I don't read many Young Adult novels, but I went ahead and read the desputed article on how YA has become too dark, I also read a rebuttal or two, then I decided to read some YA.
Back when I was reading YA regularly, I'll admit, it wasn't contemporary. I was reading YA of the wizards, knights, and spaceships variety. But this time I picked up something from 21st Century Earth, Courtney Summers' FALL FOR ANYTHING, in which our protagonist, Eddie, is coping (and sometimes not coping) with her father's suicide. Is this story dark? Yes. Is it written with care, sensitivity, honesty, and confidence that things can get better for Eddie? Absolutely.
As I read, three things became very clear to me very fast:
1. It's easy to forget that the day-to-day life of a teenager is erratic, immediate, frustrating, and thrilling without additional adversity.
2. Tragedy and abuse are isolating. Only fellow teenagers can truly empathize with highly-visceral reactions to difficulty, but they may not know how to empathize with tragedy. Books offer a non confrontational form of support, normality, and a way to see past the confusion to the healing.
3. YA books dealing with issues like grief, self-harm, substance abuse, domestic violence, bullying and so on are invaluable tools for adults trying to understand someone younger dealing with difficult issues.
Sure, sometimes in YA the death of a parent is replaced with the death of a wizard guardian or substance abuse is told as addiction to time-traveling, but regardless of genre, the issues and the emotions are the same. These stories offer empathy, compassion, understanding, and shed light on difficult issues.
If you feel inspired to do some reading and decide for yourself whether dark issues in YA are helpful or harmful, I have a few authors to suggest:
Courtney Summers (FALL FOR ANYTHING, SOME GIRLS ARE, CRACKED UP TO BE)
Carol Lynch Williams (THE CHOSEN ONE, MILES FROM ORDINARY)
Rachel DeWoskin (BIG GIRL SMALL)