“As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.
And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.”
I found this quote really moving. I remember picking up a YA book a number of years ago and thinking that it was much more mature than I remember teen books being when I was that age. After all, that’s why I skipped the teen section and went right to the grown-up shelves. I absolutely think it is true that you can’t protect kids. They don’t need to be told there are no such things as monsters; kids know there are monsters out there in the world. They need someone to tell them that the monsters can be defeated.