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View Diary: Rich, beautiful and popular: Foul-mouthed characters in teen books have it all (16 comments)

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  •  What an interesting topic, Book Bear (2+ / 0-)
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    aravir, Susan from 29

    I dislike most modern fiction for teenagers and can't bring myself to read it.  (Yes, I still read teenage and young adult fiction because I have a granddaughter who will be reading one day.)

    I read all the Harry Potter books, of course.  I still like Mary Stoltz, who wrote wonderful books for girls in the 1950s.  She's dated now, because girls have something more to aspire to than getting some boy to like them, but the quality of Stoltz' writing can best be compared to heavenly choirs--it's hard to beat.

    I still like Rosemary Sutcliffe, although her young adult fiction is very "boy"-oriented.

    I also am collecting the Anne of Green Gables books and the Betsy-Tacy books for my granddaughter.  I want her to grow up knowing that girls can do anything!

    None of the books I've mentioned employs profanity at all.  I suppose the use of it makes fiction more realistic, but it will also "date" it.  Words that are all the rage now won't be all the rage years from now.  Think about the words "swell" and "lousy," used so liberally in the 1940s.

    If writers hope to have their books considered to be classic, they're better off avoiding profanity.  That's my opinion, for whatever it's worth.  :)

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:11:47 AM PDT

    •  May I suggest the Tiffany Aching books (3+ / 0-)
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      tardis10, aravir, Susan from 29

      by Terry Pratchett.  In general Pratchett's books for young readers are stellar, in fact.

      The Tiffany series is about a young witch-in-training, and portray a much more realistic picture of "magic" than the Potter books, with more realistic moral lessons. And they're highly intelligent and, above all, fun.

      And not a curse-word or questionable situation in the pages, unless you count the colorful Gaelic-like language and propensity for drunken brawls of Tiffany's protectors, the clan of pictsies known as the Nac Mac Feegle. (There's a great deal more talk about the Feegles' liking for strong drink than actual drinking, btw.)

      The first book in the series is The Wee Free Men.

      "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more." - Popeye the Sailor Man

      by congenitalefty on Tue May 29, 2012 at 07:45:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's one of the reasons that Catcher in the Rye (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29

      feels so dated, for example.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue May 29, 2012 at 08:31:05 AM PDT

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      •  Holden Caulfield is incredibly annoying (1+ / 0-)
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        Why that book has stayed so popular is beyond me.

        •  By the time I read it I wondered what the big (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          deal was. Here we were all primed for this salacious novel, and it was annoying and kind of boring by the time it got to us. :-)

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:05:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Crabby Teacher Sez... (1+ / 0-)
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          I remember a sketch from a comedy show back in the '80s featuring a group of high school teachers in the Teacher's Lounge commiserating about their annoying students.  Well, actually I just remember this one line.  The dippy New-Agey English teacher insists that her students seem to be really getting into Catcher in the Rye.  An old, cranky teacher replies, "They just like it because it's short and his has dirty words in it."

          A friend of mine taught high school english back in the '90s and taught Catcher without the least bit of trouble.  Then the following year she wanted to teach The Chocolate War and got unexpected blowback from the community's Guardians of Virtue.  Not from the parents, mind you; she had notified the parents about the planned course of study before hand and gotten them all to approve.  No, the trouble came from an influential member of the School Board who had no children but did have a lot of money and influence.

          What frustrated her most was that the school principal, whom she expected to support the school's teachers, instead sided with Captain Virtue.

          She had been planning on returning to college and getting her Master's Degree anyway; this incident convinced her to resign her teaching post a year earlier.  She now teaches writing and has an administrative position at a college in Iowa.  She recently published a YA novel and is working on more.

          On her last day, her class brought a cake for her:  chocolate, of course, with toy soldiers  enacting a battle, and the words "The Chocolate War" written in purple icing.

          "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

          by quarkstomper on Wed May 30, 2012 at 07:08:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cormier > Salinger I think (0+ / 0-)

            I mean, there are dirty bits in there, and people cuss, but really, the cussing is exposed as not as bad as the power grabs.

            Nice story. I like Cormier's other stuff, too. He seems like a person I'd have liked to meet and say thanks to.

        •  Have you read King Dork? (0+ / 0-)

          Book by Frank Portman. It has cursing in it, but--it's different.

          It's a wonderful response to (as I heard) the "you're the sort of guy who should sympathize/identify with Holden."

          From the same people who'd be quite displeased if I swore a lot.

          I like CitR better now that people don't tell me I should, but it may still be overrated. (I'm being polite there.)

          As books with too much swearing go, though, it works quite well.

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