Thursday, April 14, 2011

Unsuitable Books for Teens

Once in a while, a book comes along that is so inappropriate in so many ways - drugs, sex, abuse, disrespect of authority, lack of consequences, vulgar language - that it just shouldn't be read by anyone under the age of 18.  And so, naturally, it is read in droves by exactly that same group of people.  This explains why in sixth grade, my friends and I were addicted to V.C. Andrews.  (Though I still can't explain why my devout Catholic mother read and owned those books AND allowed me to read her entire collection and share it with friends.  Of course, she's a librarian too and encourages people to read whatever they love, so I guess it makes some sense.)

Anyway, all this is to say that Patrick Ness has created a list of his Top 10 'Unsuitable' Books for Teenagers. While V.C. Andrews didn't make the official list, I was especially delighted to see Stephen King's The Stand, which I read in 7th grade, after watching the miniseries (Rob Lowe's return to stardom!) on TV with my family.

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  1. That is a cool list!

    Devil's advocate: What qualifies as too much "disrespect for authority"? That seems like a key ingredient in pretty much any book a teen (or child) would enjoy, from Harry Potter on down.

    Robert Cormier was all about "lack of consequences," especially lack of punishment for evil. But he's a total anomaly - I don't think his work would be published as YA if he was writing it today.