I assume all of you have seen the #YAsaves trend on Twitter, but if not, check it out.  I’ve read a few hauntingly powerful posts in reflection of the @wsj article and have been inspired to add my voice to the mix.

The most important thing I’ve noticed from all the tweets are the many people who have written that they wish they would have had access to the YA books that teenagers have today.  I was lucky to have grown up when YA books were becoming popular, though not as they are today.

Depite having a wide group of friends, several best friends, and always having something to do on weekends, I grew up a very lonely girl.  My close family saved me from expressing my sadness and loneliness in negative ways, but it wasn’t until the end of college that I finally understood that lonely was just a part of me.  Once I accepted that, it became okay and it no longer hurts me like it once did.

While I don’t have a story like many of those I have read, I still connect and understand that it was books that saved me.  I spent enormous amounts of time at the library, feeling the bindings of books, wanting to jump between their pages.  Concocting stories of my own is what carried me from day to day.  When I didn’t know how to express what I felt, books did.  This is why I write – I want to give that to another person who needs it.  In books, there is always a safe place to escape to when the real world doesn’t provide that.

YA isn’t too dark, it reflects reality and educates teenagers on aspects of life they need to know about.  More often than not, kids don’t become aware of issues like anorexia, cutting, suicide, and rape until it confronts them in real life.  This should not be the case.  Kids need a safe place they can learn about these things and know how to react when they happen in life.  I say there needs to be more YA and absolutely, never in any way, should there be censorship of the written word.

Thank you to everyone out there for helping put to words why I write and read, and why YAsaves.

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6 thoughts about "#YAsaves"

  • Deana says:

    Such good points Juliana! Books have always been a sort of therapy for my soul. I think teens reading these books may not know all about the issues in them…just like we don't know about zombie apocolypses or what have you, but it doesn't mean I want to go out and get in one just because I read it.

  • K.V. Briar says:

    Great post! Such good points here. While the things that I write are no where near as dark as some of those that I've read, I absolutely think that those books have a place and a purpose.

    PS: I tagged you in a writing meme on my blog, check it out if you get a chance 🙂

  • Krispy says:

    Thanks for this post. Reading some of the YAsaves tweets was not only eye-opening but inspiring. I definitely believe in the power of books to entertain, educate, and comfort.

  • Angela Scott says:

    When I grew up, there wasn't what we'd call YA. In junior high I remember reading a bunch of romance books (not suited for kids) and also a bunch of horror books as well (again, not suited for kids). I read all of the VC Andrews books while a young teen (I mean, brother and sister love is not a good thing for kids to be reading–I'm talking inappropriate love).

    Where were my parents? They were around. They knew. But what could they do when they had a kid who always had her nose in a book and was beyond Judy Blume?

    My son is 14. At his age I knew more about stuff than any 14 yr old ever should. Thankfully, for him, there are plenty of appropriate options for him to read and enjoy on his level. For that, I'm thankful.

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