According to the Wall Street Journal, which should know better, YA books are dangerous.  Seriously, they said that.  In a nutshell, they decided that people would read the situations in YA books and go out and try them.  

 What?  (To quote an old history teacher, "Who fucked up the ouiji board?!")  

 I remember reading Crosses when I actually was a teen.  Why do I remember it?  Because it's about a teens who cut themselves (among other things).  And while I knew kids that drank, smoked, did drugs and screwed around, I didn't know anybody who cut themselves.  And I remember thinking "How bad off must a person feel to think the only way to feel is by taking something and slitting open their skin?"  (Oddly enough, Eric Wilson explored bleeding out sin and pain in his books, but that is an essay for another day.  Those of you who have read Eric understand.)  My point is, I didn't have to go find a razor blade - and good lord, we had 1000 laying around somewhere if we had any - and try it on myself.  I never sat around and said "OMG, Maiming myself and watching me bleed!  Perfect!  I have nothing to do on Tuesday!"

Even though the character was fictional, I felt for this person.  I wanted to hug her and tell her that everything was alright and she didn't have to do that.  

You know, my favorite book growing up was Matilda.  Still is.  I re-read it at least once a year.  When I was a kid, maybe 8 or so, I stumbled upon Roald Dahl for the first time and never put him down.  Ever.  By the age of 10 or 11, I could recite most of the book. 

It's a funny thing about Mothers and Fathers.  Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could imagine, they still think he or she is wonderful. 
 Some parents go even further.  They become so blinded by adoration that they manage to convince themselves their child has the qualities of a genius.  
 Well, there is nothing very wrong with this.  It's the way of the world. It is only when the parents begin telling us the brilliance of their own little offspring that we begin shouting "Bring us a basin, we're going to be sick!"  
 Occasionally one comes across parents who take the opposite line, and these of course are far worse than the doting ones.  The Wormwoods are two such parents.  They had a son called Michael and a daughter called Matilda, and the parents looked upon Matilda as nothing more than a scab.

 And no, my parents didn't treat me like a scab.  But I often felt like one.  So when I read this book, with this super smart little girl who was reading books at the age of four and could do complex math in her head - both traits I had, thankyouverymuch - I felt like I was reading about me.  But I didn't read the book over and over (and over and over) again to learn how to put a parrot up the chimney or super glue my father's hat to his head.  I read it because I could immerse myself in a world that wasn't mine, in a character that wasn't actually me, no matter how close to me she was, and see that everything came out alright in the end.  

My comment to the author of the original article is this.  Books don't hurt people.  The inability to read and understand and work through what they evoke is more of a danger.  In fact, more damage is done by people who go rushing out to ban a book than could ever be done by the book that they're off to ban.  

 Last book I read - Paul Monette's memoir about his lover dying of AIDS.  (No, it's not young adult, but I read it because it was banned from a local Jr High).  It was the saddest, sweetest story I ever read.  Here was Paul, leading Roger by the hand through the disease that would ultimately consume them both.  Yes, I read it.  No, I didn't turn gay.  I'm not about to go get AIDS to see what it's like.  What did I take from the book?  Love.  Perseverance. Friendship.  

I don't even know what to say to the author of the original article (which can be found here  until they take it down).  Clearly she's misinformed.  Clearly she doesn't know the market.  I know people from 10 to 50 that still read YA and love it.  I know many authors that write it.  And I can't imagine being without it in the market.  

Why would you want to take away the things that help us understand and cope with life?  Look around you.  Parents are, well, parents.  Siblings are too old or too young (or in my case, too far away - my sister grew up in Fort Knox, I was in NE Ohio).  Who else do you turn to?  This is why we have friends our own age and books geared towards us.  (I say us - I'm 28.)  But still, I hope you get the point.

Carrie Ryan writes YA Zombie books.  The message throughout is to overcome.  To fight to LIVE life to its fullest no matter what little you have.  So what if there are unconsecrated in hoards trying to eat you?  At least in books like this the villains are obvious.