Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Welcome to the land of outdated, old-fashioned, often-weeded juvenile fiction. Being single and feckless, I've often found myself turning to the young adult (YA) and children sections of the library for entertainment when I couldn't face another novel about divorce. But in the wake of Harry Potter and Twilight and with the creepy-to-this-GenXer wave of child-obsessed parents, modern youth fiction has become unsettling. Books entirely in verse. Faeries burbling about the Sithe. Young protagonists who are all grotesquely abused foster kids, unnervingly hip New Yorkers or bubble-wrapped McMansion-dwellers who tell their parents everything.

So I've sought out the previous generations of kid and teen books, from the 1930's to the 1980's. I've tried to avoid the cursed forerunners of today's bloodless fiction - the 1960's worst 'problem' novels and twee fantasy, the crassest 'realistic' fiction of the 1970's, etc. Some I'd read as a kid, some I've never read before.


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