This has part and parcel to do with my NaNo novel, Flame of Raven's Soul. I classified it as Young Adult Fiction because I wasn't sure if it was too juvenile for adults. After all, the main characters are in their teens and it's mostly set in a high school, dealing with the problems of teenagers. However, I also tackle issues that can tend to spark controversy: lesbianism, gay marriage, alternate religions, strong language, violence, and death. My question is: how do you divide Young Adult fiction from regular Fiction?
Today's youth has grown up with several big things happening that the previous generation (mine) didn't. They not only had to deal with 9/11, now they have to deal with the issues of the war, the recession, changing politics, and now a history-making president. How would they react to these changes? Not only that, but today's youth seem disinterested in reading, which worries me. With the introduction of cell phones, text messaging, instant messaging, and the computer age, a good old-fashioned book is usually deemed out of style and regulated to the classroom. Not to mention they have been exposed to a plunging economy and may have had to get jobs at a much younger age. Does this make them more mature so they can read and understand or even relate to these issues? Better yet, do they want to relate to the issues in the books?
For example, the book King & King, a children's book about a Prince who rejects several princesses and eventually marries a prince, has been the subject of such controversy. But wouldn't such a book be a good idea at least for tweens and teens? I understand that some parents don't think it's an issue to be taught at school, especially since it's so easy to "brainwash" their young children. But still,you expect kids by the time they're in their teens to understand topics such as homosexuality, religion, politics, and such. Maybe not as in depth as adults, but at least have a basic understanding of them.
I guess where I"m going with this is: where is the line in YA fiction? Do you use curse words in character dialogue or is that "too much"? And if it's not, which ones are more "acceptable" and which aren't? I guess it's all just a matter of opinion, but it's something to think about!