Joel Stein thinks that adults shouldn't be reading books published for young adults and children.

"I'm sure all those books are well written," he writes. "So is 'Horton Hatches the Egg.' But Horton doesn't have the depth of language and character as literature written for people who have stopped physically growing." Then he goes on to explain that he doesn't actually know what any kids' books are like, because he doesn't read them, because he's a grown up. "I have no idea what The Hunger Games is like.... I don't know because it's a book for kids."

The condescension isn't particularly shocking -- it's commonplace. (Even the "I'm sure all those books are well written" part is condescending. Why should they all be well-written? Find me one genre of books in the publishing industry where every single book is well-written. Children's literature has the same range of quality as every other genre.) What's more surprising is that the New York Times considered this printworthy.

Hey New York Times, I don't watch HBO, because it's not for people with basic cable. Would you mind setting aside about 300 words somewhere for me to opine about their spring lineup and who should be watching it?

I can never get particularly worked up about people who critique art they've never experienced.  I can't get myself worked up about this article. Why? Because he's wrong. And he's the one who loses out. I'm happily here with a lot of good books he'll never read.[image error]
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Published on March 30, 2012 12:38 • 552 views
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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Wow, I just read his "article" and found myself incensed. What an arrogant, pompous ass to think he gets to decide what all "adults" get to read, (and not read, as the case may be). I'm an adult. I read almost exclusively YA. I read for enjoyment and entertainment, and I've found that most YA has complex characters and subject matter.... And also... it's just none of his business what ANYONE is reading.... It's disappointing that the NYT would print such ridiculousness.


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul I am sure Joel Stein's articles are well written. And I am sure that he has experience reading books. However, since I am not a dummy, I don't think I should read this article since it was obviously written for dummies.


message 3: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Goodall The comments at the bottom of the article are fabulous.


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Carrie wrote: "The comments at the bottom of the article are fabulous."

Thanks Carrie. Those comments are excellent reading for all ages. I love the one where they ask Stein to "Go read a freaking book."


message 5: by Erica (new)

Erica The comments are the best part.


message 6: by Anie (new)

Anie And who is Joel Stein and why should I care what he thinks of my reading taste? Exactly. Now if a YA author was telling me I shouldn't be reading YA books I'd gladly listen... and not read that particular authors books.


message 7: by Laurel (new)

Laurel I'd call this guy a dumb---, but that's insulting to other dumb---es.


message 8: by Anjelica26 (new)

Anjelica26 What a pompous idiot. I read his article and just laughed. The Hunger Games movie (Based on a YA novel duh!) raked in like 150+ million its opening weekend. His stuff will never see that kind of green!


message 9: by L. Layale (new)

L. Layale Erica wrote: "The comments are the best part."

I agree. Specifically because it points out just how stupid the guy is. I also like the comments from parents.


message 10: by Sara (new)

Sara As a high school ELA teacher who works with struggling/reluctant readers, there is nothing more powerful than to sit down and read the books that they are reading! It is our combined love of YA books and the gripping topics that they talk about that turns my students into readers! I am proud of the fact that I am a huge fan of YA lit. It helps me form a strong bond with my students and my own children.


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