Parental Units

In response to a (ridiculous and pointless) NY Times article on the epidemic of "bad" parenting in YA lit, Miss Print has opened a challenge to all YA lit readers, lovers, reviewers, &c out there . . . find the "good" parents!  As Miss Print states,
I want a list of “good” parents, “real” parents, parents who could be role models instead of horrible examples, parents readers will like as characters even if they might not identify with them (because, hey, YA books are written for teens not parents).
So let's help her out!

I'm all about this challenge and plan on getting right to it . . . after I snag on to that parenthetical comment and roll my eyes at adults everywhere who are reading books for young adults and getting bent out of shape by the depiction of parents.  YA books are not written for you!  They are written for teens.  They are written from the teen's point of view.  Their conflict and drama and adventure is of the YA world - not the adult world.  Parents are often incidental, even detrimental . . . and that's okay.  It's not an indictment of parenting, it's not a sign of the decline of the teen-adult relationship, it's a way for the teen protagonists to solve their own problems, make their own decisions, develop their independence and grow up.  Coming of age is not a family games night event.

So, in closing, I'd like to offer Julie Just the same advice I dole out daily to my middle-schoolers: Take it easy, killer.  It's not always about you.

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