I am extraordinarily naive. I get that. But I like to believe that most people think like me. I know that's not true, but hello? Don't most people want to live in peace, raise their kids with a strong moral compass, worship how they want, etc...?
There is a terrifying trend in the YA market right now. I knew it was coming, but wasn't aware of how strong its roots had already become. I belong to a group or club called Authors Incognito. On our message board yesterday was a discussion about how many modern YA authors are writing violent, sexual and filthy scenes in their YA stories. Is that really what you want your teens reading? Really?
Recently on Query Tracker there was a first chapter contest for YA novels. One of the 1st place winner's chapters had the f-word in the first sentence. The FIRST sentence! It also described (and I mean really described) a naked girl and the mc's (a boy) reaction to it. HELLO PEOPLE?
And we wonder why there are so many problems in our country--in our world? We authors HAVE to take a stand. We have to know how influential our words are. If we write in a way that makes filthy language, underage sex, and all that other dangerous stuff look okay, normal, and finally, desireable, we are contributing to the vileness of our world.
Yes, I am aware that kids hear and see things like that every day at school and do you know why? Because some of these books are sold at book fairs in ELEMENTARY schools! They are not only getting it from TV or wherever else, but from the books they read.
Parents. PLEASE read what your kids are reading. FIRST. Our brains are computers. What goes in can never be erased.
People like James Dashner, Lisa Mangum, Jeff Savage, and Dan Wells are all wonderful examples of fun, suspenseful, edge of your seat, exciting story weavers. It IS possible to have a fantastic YA read that's clean. Come on, authors. Take the responsibility onto your shoulders to fight the rising wave that threatens (and I mean really threatens) our youth. We can make a difference. We have to.