Controversial Song of the Day: "Drank in my Cup" by Kirko Bangz
For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.
DRINKING. Something that most of us probably indulged in before we were 21--yet, we act surprised to hear that today's teens are guzzling alcohol like it's soda.
Did you know...?
*Nearly 72% of students have consumed alcohol by the end of high school; 37% have done so by eighth grade
*56.2% of underage drinkers report that they drank in someone else's home; 29.6% reported that it occurred in their own home.
*During the past month 26.4 % of teenagers drank alcohol and among them 17.4 % participated in binge drinking
Statistics taken from: http://www.sadd.org/stats.htm
As Pam mentioned in Sunday's post about addiction, the bad rap that YA gets from critics is largely based on drug use and alcohol consumption. However, YA writers create worlds that teen readers will relate to. Contemporary writers have to produce material that is accurate and reflects the culture that we live in. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the statistics above, alcohol consumption among teens is normal.
We both work with pre-teens and teenagers and we hear rumors about parties where alcohol was the star. In schools across America, students are getting suspended from bringing alcohol TO the building! It's happening, people!
So, as writers we keep it real. In our novels, there is drinking. In Pam's novel Wants, a character's band plays at a club with a bar where a friendly bartender gives him a break. In her second novel, Project J, her main character gets associated with beer through an awkward keg stand. It's sad to say...these things happen!
There are several novels where drinking happens (probably most contemporary YA novels to be frank), but here are a few where drinking plays a central role:
*Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
*Party by Tom Leveen
*So, Save Me by Kim Mitchell
*Freaked by J.T. Dutton
What do you all think about drinking in YA? Is it necessary or is it something that can be left out? Speaking of being "left out"...got any books to add to our list?