Quita and I admit that we haven't been the most loyal bloggers as of late. That's why when we found out about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge we knew we had to jump all over that. What better way to fall back in love with the blogosphere?
It's best to pick a theme when trying to blog everyday (especially after a long absence). Our theme?
CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA
Did You Know....?
*Aside from alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used drug among high school seniors
*Only 50% of high school students consider marijuana use to be a risk
*83.9% of teens say it's easy to obtain marijuana
*8.5% of high school seniors have tried cocaine, and 1.4% have tried heroin
*25% of students from grades 9-12 admit to being offered drugs on SCHOOL PROPERTY
*All statistics taken from teendrugaddiction.com
When critics complain about YA being "too dark," they tend to point the finger at mentions of drug use in these stories. However, the numbers above show that a significant number of teens have been exposed to drugs--whether they themselves have tried it, or know of a classmate who uses. Even as a middle school counselor, I'm sad to say that I've even heard stories of how easily accessible drugs are in my students' neighborhoods.
Despite the flack from critics, do Quita and I mention drug use in our stories? Yes--but only when it fits with a character. In fact, in Quita's story, The Blues, one of her characters is a drug dealer, and a secondary one faces addiction problems. True, these may not be the most popular stories--but I'm pretty sure there are teens out there that can relate.
So what other YA novels can you read about addiction and drug use until The Blues hits the shelves?
- Smack by Melvin Burgess
- Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers
- Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
- The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance by Catherine Ryan Hyde
- The Crank series by Ellen Hopkins
So what are YOUR thoughts of drug use in YA? Have you written about it yourself? What are some of your fave books that mention drugs and/or addiction?