This paper explores censorship in regard to young adult (YA) literature, examining the reasons why YA is often censored and how such censored content relates to the mental capabilities and emotional needs of YA’s readership. The author reviews the arguments of both supporters and opponents of censored YA: supporters cite intellectual freedom and adolescent need, claiming the First Amendment protects adolescents’ right to read and that YA books are too valuable to teens’ development to be confiscated. Critics state that YA has become toxic, full of explicit evil, and is therefore unsuitable for adolescent consumption. The author concludes that complete censorship of YA is unacceptable because adolescents need literature that speaks to their experiences and engages their questions. However, with so many delicate topics being handled, neither can we allow a careless, haphazard approach to the genre. YA supporters and critics must find a way to listen and to compromise, ensuring all sides of the teenage experience are represented and that both the books and the teens receive the necessary care to thrive. The author ends with a few solutions to help the two sides find middle ground and to make YA even more beneficial for all parties involved.
Mintah, A. K. (2018). Young Adult Literature: Ethics, Evils, and the Ever-Present Question of Censorship. Exigence, 2 (1). Retrieved from https://commons.vccs.edu/exigence/vol2/iss1/9