Hungry Beast, an Australian TV show featuring a bunch of smug undergraduate types waxing lyrical about current affairs, ran a report in its most recent episode titled “Things we think might be bullshit: Adults reading kids’ books”:
Harry Potter, Twilight and other novels are deemed books for “children”, and adults (so the reasoning goes) need to grow up and presumably start reading “adult books” lest they develop a creepy Peter Pan vibe akin to Michael Jackson’s. Why, if adults continue reading “kids’” books, one day Spot Goes to School might be taught in universities – because after all, there’s no difference whatsoever between a book for preschoolers and a book for older teens!
Adults reading children’s books, we’re informed, is like owning golliwogs: “a bit wrong, but mostly just embarrassing”.
STFU, Hungry Beast. First of all, do your research: children’s books are very different from the genre known an “young adult” (note the use of “adult“). And guess what? There are loads and loads of YA books that aren’t Harry Potter or Twilight! (Shock!)
Why is it weird when adults read books about teenagers, given that adults were all once (another shock!) teenagers too? Is it also “weird” for senior citizens to read books about twenty- or thirtysomething characters?
Lastly, and most importantly, why are stories about young people automatically “childish”, and/or valued below stories about adults?