>Young Adult Science Fiction literature… is it Creating Pessimism in the next Generation?

>My Friend Diane Nelson posted this link – http://planetpailly.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/pessimism-the-next-generation/ – Don’t worry I’ll wait while you read it… you’ll need to read it to understand what I am about to talk about.





 All done? Okay then, I’ll carry on with what I was going to say.


I think the current SF Trend reflects the world this generation live in. 

Far too many parents now don’t police what their children watch, play or do. I know 11 year olds that play Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Resident Evil  style games (all rated or should be rated 16+) while their parents watch soaps and drink in the other room. Some of these kids have younger brothers and sisters that sit in the room with them and watch them play the games!

Older Kids watch movies that deal with aspects of human nature that they shouldn’t be aware of yet – Rape, Murder, Gore, Terror. They think movies like Final Destination and Saw are funny. Many are sexually aware far too early (consenting 11 year old mum anyone?) and they are bombarded by air brushed / ideal beauty images through the TV shows aired when they are likely to be watching and magazines aimed at them.

I’m not saying that children should be cotton wool wrapped until they are sixteen, but the more disturbing areas of Humanity should be introduced gradually at a rate that is right for the child , not the parent.

YA Literature is one way that these areas can be introduced; Books like Uglies, Hunger Games and Matched do this. The problem lies with how early this kind of literature is introduced.  If you go with when they are capable of reading these books, that brings the faster, brighter children in at 10 (sometimes younger) when they are at their most thirsty for knowledge and at their most absorbent. Some of these kids will not be emotionally mature enough to understand the concepts – no matter how fast they learn or read. But they will absorb the messages contained in the stories and it will change the way they look at the world.


So as a Parent (which I am) can you tell? 


….I don’t know…


…I’m hitting that age with my son now.


He’s been allowed to play games which are rated slightly older than he would normally, and I have noticed a change in his behaviour. His reading age has improved by a whole year over the last six months and he’s now reading Rick Riordan. I’ve read the books, I know there isn’t anything in them that is going to upset him and he always asks me if he comes across things that puzzle him.


I’ll let you know how the rest of the teenage stuff goes as and when. My daughter is a different matter – she’s one of the faster kids and I’m getting worried I won’t be able to keep up with her!


What do you think? Carefully controlled introduction or let them do what they want?

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