Monday, August 18, 2008

Non Fiction Monday: Real Life Meets YA Lit

For this Non Fiction Monday, I bring you (instead of a review) a real-life story that concerns Young Adult fiction.

Let's just say I know a thirteen-year-old girl. She's a good kid: a great student, kind to others, and interested in the world.

All of a sudden this thirteen-year-old girl does something entirely out of character: She attempts to steal a candy from a convenience store. She's caught and read the riot act. At home, she's grounded beyond grounded.

When questioned with a "what the heck were you thinking?", the girl answered that almost every book she's read lately (Young Adult fiction) contains an episode of shoplifting. And that she just wanted to try it once.

Obviously the mother did not buy this argument, nor did it sway her in any way. But, still, it's interesting, isn't it? I mean, if we all got out our notebooks to emulate Harriet, or made bread out of walnuts a la Little House on the Prairie, could we also not copy other behaviors?*

* And, don't worry. I'm not saying we should ban, or restrict, or water down any book. I do believe every child should read what he or she wants to read. This is just the first time I've encountered a child who has copied a negative behavior from a book.