What this unfortunately driven young woman's rather sad little story suggests is that one of the major reasons other young people don't read books is that most of the stuff published for children and adolescents is abysmal, self-regarding trash.
While he follows this up with a dig at packagers and a point I do agree with (kids don't only want to read about people just like themselves), that comment was the type that forced me to keep re-reading to see if I missed some sort of set-up. But I don't think so. Perhaps Mr. Rutten has read "most" of the books being published today. I've read some. Others who read this blog have read more. I'm curious if they agree with him. I don't.
Mr. Rutten notes how corporations have taken over in many fields, and makes some comparisons and observations I found interesting. But then, his conclusion:
Whether you're talking about books, films or newspapers — as it turns out — much flows from that decisive moment when "the business" passes from the hands of people who have found a way to make a living doing something they love and into the hands of folks who only love making a living. Some of what results is truly noxious, some is distasteful, most is merely dreary. The majority of books aimed at today's young people fall into this last category.
It's hard to blame readers of any age for voting with their feet when they see what's seeping toward them and realize they're about to be ankle deep in bilge.
So is "most" differnt from "a majority" and is "self-regarding trash" different from "merely dreary"? But forget such parsing...
I ask again, particularly to my fellow kid-lit bloggers... any opinions here? I hope you read the full article to make sure I'm not missing something... and then feel free to share this with the myriad blogging authors who defy both of Mr. Rutten's categorizations. I wonder if anyone will have anything to say to email@example.com... or do such broad brush statements not even deserve e-mail responses?
(For those here for Fibbery, there are links on the right hand side of the blog under "The Fibs." Also, if you scroll around on the blog main page, you'll find lots of Fibbish fun, including hundreds of Fibs in the comments of various posts. Enjoy!)