Friday, June 3, 2011

Just for Thought...

I'm curious of your thoughts... One day the mind was wondering, a lot.  But I came up with a few thoughts, questions... what ever you would like to call them, for chats with you.  I thought it would be neat to have a nice chat with you on different things in and regarding books.  I don't think this will become a post for every week, but I have several thoughts here to start some chats.  I do hope you will join in and share your thoughts.

Violence & Young Adult Books?

Is there ever to much violence in Young Adult books?

I started pondering this as I keep going to back to the Hunger Games books.  Yes, I read it. I loved it. I suggested it.  Friends kids read it. And my twelve year old son is reading it.

But let me explain, as brief as I can.  I wanted nothing to do with this book when I heard about it.  I didn't think any YA book should be about young adults, children, killing each other for enjoyment of viewers or not.  Then a friend in the book world finally convinced me to read it.  I didn't find it so bad when I did read it.  I even mention in my review, as you know there is killing going on you don't really see it or witness Katniss doing it.  She is struggling with surviving, on her own, not out killing the other kids.  So, I was happy with the book.  And passed it on to friends and my son as well.

But, there seems to be so much "killing" in the world and on television for the young ones these days.  So, my question is do you think there is to much in books as well?

Maybe it's my selection in books, and Young Adult books, but I don't seem to see it on an overly done process yet.  Maybe you have read different books than I and have or have not seen it.  So, I'm curious about your thoughts on it.


Lisa @ Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

I definitely have a threshold for violence. Have you read anything by Ilona Andrews? I think the level of detail in discussing gore can be a little over the top for me.

I think it's a combination of how the violence is described, the level of violence (injuring others vs. killing) and overall number of violent occurrences in the book.

When it comes to young readers, I think parents should make that judgement call. It is a really tough line to cross!

Lucy (The Secret Life of Books) said...

I think it depends on how the violence is presented to the reader. The idea of the Hunger Games, children killing each other for public entertainment, is pretty horrific. But like you said, we don’t witness Katniss taking part in it, she is just surviving.

I just recently read City of Bones (which you already know since I followed you back to your blog after you left a comment on my review!) which could be considered a violent book. I didn’t find it overly violent because it was presented as good vs evil. The Shadowhunters kill demons, who destroy living things, in order to protect the humans. But there was one scene when a human is killed when someone throws a scalpel into their neck which I thought was quite callous. However, I didn’t think it was completely inappropriate.

I have never read a book that is violent just for the sake of being violent. I find it extremely difficult to watch movies or TV programs where people are beaten up or killed for no reason. But I find that in young adult books it is always presented in the form of survival or good vs evil which makes it more acceptable for the reader.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

To me it is more about the kid rather than a blanket yes or no. An involved parent can decide how far a kid can go with the reading in this fashion. As far as those already predisposed to violence, I don't think what is in a book will influence them more than the ones s/he hangs with.

Just my little 2¢. :)

Good discussion post.

Jackie said...

I read constantly in the Adult book section but in the YA books I have found and enjoyed in the past few years there is a lot of violence and yes it is the "type" of YA series that I am devouring so it is not across the genre I do not think... However like Melissa from B&T I firmly believe that our world is made up of people who can decide for themselves what their reading material consists of, some people will and some people will not be influenced in a negative fashion but again that is going to be a choice they make not something the book or the movie or the TV show forced them to do!

I grew up in a household reading the most gory and bloody westerns and watching the cult horror classics and such and did not turn out to be a violent person, to date I still read a lot of books with violent and bloody scenes and do not feel the need to knife or shoot anyone!

I think there are people in jail cells who may say the exact opposite and truthfully that is bull, they chose violence it was not something they had to do!

Ryan said...

I think it has more to do with the way it's presented and described more than the action itself. It's like the difference between the original Halloween movie and the movie Hostel. I would let Aidan watch Halloween. I wouldn't let him anywhere near Hostel.

WonderBunny said...

I don't think I can add more than what people have already said. I agree that it depends on the child and what the parents think is acceptable. I couldn't had horror as a kid and so I had to learn to avoid it.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read Hunger Games (gasp!) so I can't say if it's too much violence. When I was a teen I don't remember reading violent books that often. I know really violent books turn me off as an adult. For instance, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has too much violence against women. I enjoyed the story as a whole but did not read the rest of the series.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

First, thank you all for stopping by to chat! This is cool of you all. And second, I'm sorry I didn't get on earlier this weekend to chat with you. It's been a rough one here. My allergies had me down all day yesterday, and today they are wearing on me pretty bad. But, I had to get on to chat just a little bit. :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Lisa @Read.Breathe.Relax. - I haven't read Ilona Andrews yet, but it is one author on the list to get someday. But thanks for letting us know about the violence level there. :) Yes, I think parenting is one thing to work all levels with the children. And chatting on what it is that makes these levels different along with right/wrong, good/bad stuff.

Lucy (Then Secret Lif of Books) - Oh yes! I didn't even think about City of Bones. And a nice thing about the author is she didn't over detail it, or gorize it. She just had it there and passed by quickly.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I'm going to mention as well, I have to give kudos to authors and book publishing companies with the way they retain and present the violence. They have done a wonderful job (from what I've seen) on not going overboard like television has. And not got carried away for the sake of it. That is one thing I love. And As you mentioned Lucy, it is depicted in different ways through words with good evil and not overly gorified.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Melissa (Books&Things) - You are soooo right! What kids these days hear and see I don't think can be toped with whats in a book....if they read books. I'm glad you liked the discussion post. :) I like to chat on "things" in books from time to time too, other than the books themselves. :)

Jackie B - Oh I agree. I don't think the books and movies convince people to be the way they are. To me they choise to do these things. But they are where they are for a reason. I'm so glad you stopped by to join in with us! It is neat to throw these questions out there and just have a comfortable chat on them. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Ryan G - You know I don't know if I've ever seen Hostel. I don't think I have, to tell you the truth. But I know what you mean. Presentation has a lot to do with it. Oh my, and the original Halloween! It's been ages since I've seen it as well. :) Thank you for stopping by!

Wonderbunny - HI! Hope you are doing well, and thank you for stopping by. :) We didn't do much horror as kids growing up either. But, did go through a small spell where I watched what I could get my hands on when I left home. lol.

StephanieD - Thank you for stopping by! You know I have not read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Thank you for mentioning it and what you thought of the violence there. :)

Jackie said...

That's a tough question. I think in Sci-FI/Fantasy/UF type books, you're more likely to find killing than in other YA books. But there are levels of violence. In our book club reads, Cassie Clare and Julie Kagawa have a fair amount of fighting and death. It's good in the sense that it can help readers cope with death. But violence in real life is never acceptable, so I can see that side of things too.
Then again, there are so many vampire/werewolf/other preternatural creatures in Ya books these days that a certain amount of killing is expected. I feel as long as we keep communications open with our kids about the differences between fiction and real life, there shouldn't be an issue.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Hey Jackie, Sorry it took me so long to comment back. I agree with you on the communication with the kids. I think that is very important. And I've noticed in books too that even through there is death, you don't have the gory details of it and the action of it. It's kept simple and easy to get through. :) Thank you for stopping by!