I would like to post a link to this article without too much commentary from myself, as (1) I don’t have the time, and (2) for those unfamiliar with the “Young Adult” literature being sold in our bookstores it will be quite an eye-opener and should be read for itself (with warning: it contains some graphic content). The article is “Darkness Too Visible” by Meghan Cox Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal.
Ms. Gurdon’s insights are very good, and I won’t distract you from reading the article by copying them here. Suffice it to say that Philippians 4:8 is not exactly the guide many “Young Adult” authors are using. If you are a parent who is simply allowing your children to pick their own books to read at the library or from Barnes & Noble and you’re not reviewing those books yourself to know what they are mentally and spiritually digesting — perhaps, simply delighted that they “love to read” — you are making a huge, huge mistake.
Of course, some will whine that any parents who review the books their young children read are acting like dictatorial little censors who are afraid to allow their children freedom of thought. Those people who say such things are, generally, clueless at best and neglectfully damaging their children at worst. Ms. Gurdon makes a point herself (OK, one quote!) when she says, “It is a dereliction of duty not to make distinctions in every other aspect of a young person’s life between more and less desirable options. Yet let a gatekeeper object to a book and the industry pulls up its petticoats and shrieks ‘censorship!'”
As she concludes: “The book business exists to sell books; parents exist to rear children, and oughtn’t be daunted by cries of censorship. No family is obliged to acquiesce when publishers use the vehicle of fundamental free-expression principles to try to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children’s lives.”
Proverbs 22:15 tells us, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” — not a condemnation, just a statement of fact and a reminder of parental responsibility. How sad that so many parents sacrifice their children’s minds so that corporations may profit on that foolishness.
(By the way: I note that I’ve referred to work by Meghan Cox Gurdon before back in February of 2010 when she wrote a pathetic-but-sadly-true article about the horrific “prom etiquette” book written by the descendants of Emily Post. The post was “Girls save themselves not for marriage but for the prom” and has a link to that article as well as to some great Tomorrow’s World resources.)
- Sherman Alexie misses the point (collectedmiscellany.com)