While I have never been Jewish or sat shiva, I found other themes and situations relatable in Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You. The same goes for young adults. Who are we to say what a young teenager can handle? There are no censors on life; there is no age discrimination for when a person might experience death, poverty, or sexual assault, and so a censor on literature labeled “young adult” is just as arbitrary. Which is why when I read Tahleen’s defense of YA literature and its themes, I thought it was a great example of the necessity of the scope of literature and its themes. Whether a young adult has experienced firsthand any of the dark themes outlined by Meghan Cox Gurdon or not, its presence in their reading material can serve as the beginning of a very necessary dialogue.
I’d love to hear what you think, as I’m sure would Tahleen.