2019 Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Title

Real World Issues in Young Adult Fiction

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Scott Mendelson, in a review for the movie The Hate U Give titled “Review: ‘The Hate U Give’ Is An Oscar–Worthy Masterpiece,” spends the bulk of his essay attacking the young adult fantasy genre for not facing politics through anything except “behind metaphor or comforting illusion.” He writes: “The Hate U Give is, at its core, a YA fantasy melodrama stripped of fantasy and focused on the modern-day racial strife and class struggle that the likes of Harry Potter, Divergent and The Hunger Games merely discussed in metaphorical terms.” Instead of comparing and backing up his claim, Mendelson just uses the movie version of The Hate U Give as his sole evidence with no look at the other side of the argument. This paper shows that his claim is inaccurate. Young adult fantasy does discuss race and class issues just as plainly as non-fantastic literature does. Furthermore, fantasy sometimes does a better job of talking about these issues because it reaches an audience that may not otherwise pick up a book to read, or that may not be interested in the real life issues, but are actually reading about them even if they do not realize it. I use The Black Witch by Laurie Forest to illustrate how young adult fantasy handles these issues.

Start Date

3-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

3-4-2019 2:00 AM

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brooke Wonders

Department

Department of Languages and Literatures

File Format

application/pdf

Embargo Date

4-17-2019

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 3rd, 12:00 PM Apr 3rd, 2:00 AM

Real World Issues in Young Adult Fiction

Scott Mendelson, in a review for the movie The Hate U Give titled “Review: ‘The Hate U Give’ Is An Oscar–Worthy Masterpiece,” spends the bulk of his essay attacking the young adult fantasy genre for not facing politics through anything except “behind metaphor or comforting illusion.” He writes: “The Hate U Give is, at its core, a YA fantasy melodrama stripped of fantasy and focused on the modern-day racial strife and class struggle that the likes of Harry Potter, Divergent and The Hunger Games merely discussed in metaphorical terms.” Instead of comparing and backing up his claim, Mendelson just uses the movie version of The Hate U Give as his sole evidence with no look at the other side of the argument. This paper shows that his claim is inaccurate. Young adult fantasy does discuss race and class issues just as plainly as non-fantastic literature does. Furthermore, fantasy sometimes does a better job of talking about these issues because it reaches an audience that may not otherwise pick up a book to read, or that may not be interested in the real life issues, but are actually reading about them even if they do not realize it. I use The Black Witch by Laurie Forest to illustrate how young adult fantasy handles these issues.