Personally, I’m in the camp that any and all adult fiction or non-fiction should not be censored at all for the adult population.
But you’re probably aware I purposefully said the word “adult.”
I think most people (or at least I hope most people) would agree that children’s fiction should not have high (or perhaps any) levels of gratuitous violence, sexual activity, swearing, hate, etc. And that’s simple enough to say when the child in question is reading board books, picture books, chapter books, etc.
But things begin to get slightly dicey when we reach middle grade, where certain levels of violence or difficult situations may, in fact, be favorable to show coming-of-age story lines or excite children who want to read about dragon-riding or dinosaurs or space battles where the heroes come out on top.
Then there’s YA, strictly in a camp all its own. And that camp is a complete and utter mess, if you ask me (which you weren’t, but I’m answering anyway).
YA, despite its moniker of young adult, is generally considered aimed at children between the ages of 12/13-18. Which, again, if you ask me, is a pretty huge disparity. Children at age 12 might not even have begun puberty, where at 18, you’re not only considered an adult in most countries, but you’ve probably been faced with many adult decisions concerning your own health, sexual activity, future, life choices, relationships, etc. One would hope that at 18 you’d have enough past experiences, enough common sense, enough knowledge to think analytically. Sure, you’ll still make mistakes, but we all do at any age.
However, I have a distinct problem with YA authors aiming their books solely at that higher range audience and forgetting that children as young as 12-13 will also be picking up and reading their work. No, I’m not going to say that all violence and sexual situations should be removed. However, I do adamantly believe authors of YA have just as much responsibility as any other children’s fiction author.
LET’S TAKE AN EXAMPLE: Continue reading