Follow @KathreseMcKee

The Case for Good Taste

My first post on this blog, back in June 2011, was about the furor over Meghan Gurdon’s article entitled, “Darkness Too Visible.” From the extreme reaction the article received, you’d have thought Ms. Gurdon advocated burning books in the village square. YA authors–at least some of them–were up in arms, breaking out the torches and pitchforks.

I followed the public debate in a few posts; you can read them here:

On March 12, 2013, Ms. Gurdon spoke at Hillsdale College; the text version of her speech was published in Imprimus, a publication of Hillsdale College. The subject of her speech was, “The Case for Good Taste in Children’s Books.” I don’t know how long the link will remain good, but there’s also an audible version. In the future, I hope there will be a more permanent home for her words.

She makes some excellent points which I will leave you to read for yourself. However, I would point out that when you hear the rebuttals and the clamor from those who oppose her good sense, keep in mind that those authors and publishers who don’t actually have our children’s welfare at heart are the ones who will defend to their last breath the right of “free speech” –as long as they can control who gets heard. They shout down people like Ms. Gurdon because she questions the content of their work aimed at the hearts and minds of our children.

But aren’t questioning and dissent the essence of free speech? Censorship cuts both ways. If a piece of fiction work can’t stand the glare of public scrutiny and the test of thoughtful critique, then perhaps it’s not fit for print. An author needs to be prepared to answer questions about taste and good sense, but please–enough about “freedom.” What about a heart for children? I would say that with great freedom comes great responsibility.

Will Technology Save Public Education? Answering Dr. Jim Taylor

Will Technology Save Public Education? Answering Dr. Jim Taylor

I read Dr. Jim Taylor’s editorial in the Huffington Post this morning, entitled Will Technology Save Public Education? | Dr. Jim Taylor. For whatever reason, I couldn’t post a comment on the Huffington Post site, so here it is: The problems of the disadvantaged are too deep to be addressed only in the public schools. But […]

Three Fun Reflections on the English Language

I’ve been trying, with limited success, to participate in Nanowrimo this month.  My extracurricular activity has really cut into my blogging time, but since I write in English (the American version), I want to pay tribute to the weirdest, most difficult language on Earth by sharing some great links.  Teachers, especially those who teach English […]

The momsread.com Book Report Format

The momsread.com Book Report Format

The first post for this YA and Teen Fiction book blog was published in June.  I can’t believe it’s taken so long to see some results for all that work!  This summer, I experimented off-line with the format that momsread.com book “reports” would take; I consulted with friends, writers, and teachers to hone the type […]

Getting Excited About August Camp NaNoWriMo

Getting Excited About August Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m so pleased that the great folks at NaNoWriMo have developed Camp NaNoWriMo for those of us who love a high adventure writing experience to brighten up our summer.  Thanks guys! NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, began way back in July, 1999 in the San Fransisco Bay Area.  This event, held every […]

Paranormal Normal

Paranormal Normal

One balmy night in June, 2008, I was on the top bunk in a large room-full of bunk beds in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, getting ready for lights out.  My neighbor, Kim, the mother of two older teenage daughters had her nose buried in Twilight. Another chaperone on our mission trip asked her why she was reading […]

One last time on “Darkness Too Visible”

One last time on “Darkness Too Visible”

The Wall Street Journal posted a video interview to follow-up on the reaction to Meghan Cox Gurdon’s article, “Darkness Too Visible”.  Maybe it’s just me, but the interview came across as a damage control effort.  They didn’t even include Ms. Gurdon in the interview. NPR, on the other hand,  posted the audio and transcript of […]

Another Take on “Darkness Too Visible”

Another Take on “Darkness Too Visible”

As a follow up to my last post on Ms. Gurdon’s article, “Darkness Too Visible”, published on June 4, 2011 in the Wall Street Journal, I would like to refer you to a blog post by Deren Hansen, “Gurdon’s ‘Darkness Too Visible:’ A Call for Variety“. His take on the conflict seemed insightful and balanced, and […]

YA Fiction Accused of Making the ‘Darkness Too Visible’

YA Fiction Accused of Making the ‘Darkness Too Visible’

Recently, I read two articles about teen and young adult fiction which highlight the deep divide between an industry’s direction and parents’ expectations. The first article, “Darkness Too Visible” by Meghan Cox Gurdon, published on 6/4/11 in the Wall Street Journal, has incited a firestorm of defensive comments by YA authors and readers alike.  At the […]

www.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF   
About the Author

Kathrese McKee started life as a Systems Engineer at EDS, spent time in real estate, taught middle grade Reading and ESL in Texas, and settled down to blog and write speculative fiction for Young Adults.

As a teacher, she fell in love with books written for Teens and Young Adults. Her favorite books are “coming of age” stories about young people on the difficult road of self-discovery.

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge