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Young Adult Literature Provides Insight and Hope During Difficult Times

July 23rd, 2012 · Marilyn H. · Staff Recommendations

When we are faced with harrowing real-life events, we struggle to find words to help us understand…. An example of this is the latest shooting rampage in a movie theatre in Colorado. It is completely inexplicable. We are able to come to terms with the seemingly incomprehensible with the help of the words of others. We gain much-needed insight through the experiences of others, both real and fictional. I have found my own understanding of humanity and the world in which we all live enriched through my many years of reading as well as living. We read in search of ourselves and in search of understanding.

Some criticize young adult literature as “too adult,” saying its content is too dark. Yet, those who recognize themselves, their own lives and their own pain in YA literature find something more: a way to face trauma and transcend it. There are those who wonder why Young Adult Literature must cover such terrible topics as school violence, rape, suicide and homicide. Others wonder why anyone would want young adults to be left alone in a world where these things happen without the guidance and comfort of words, without a literature that speaks to our darkest hours and provides us with light, with insight and hope.

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