Signs of the Times: Young Adult Fiction

There is an interesting conversation in the New York Times “Room for Debate” section of the Opinion pages under the title, “The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction.”  The conversation is among several authors of young adult-literature and professors related to young adult development and culture concerning the trend in young-adult literature toward dark and dystopian themes.

Here are the two questions up for conversation:

  1. Why do bestselling young adult novels seem darker in theme now than in
    past years?
  2. What’s behind this dystopian trend, and why is there so much
    demand for it?

Several people contribute their opinions.  I particularly like Paolo Bacigalupi’s essay on “Craving Truth-Telling” and Maggie Stiefvater’s “Pure Escapism.”

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