I've been noticing a trend online that I don't understand. If I had a dollar for every time someone has breathily spoken of J.K. Rowling or S. Meyer or similar YA authors as having done a tremendous public service for having gotten young adults to read, I'd have quite a few dollars at my disposal now.
Why is this? I'm not disputing that their series have sold well, and I generally think that young adult reading is a decent thing (in general, it depends on what is being read and the young adult in question and stuff like this is complicated and individual circumstances matter), so yay, but writers ... write. It's what they/we do, and while I think it's a valuable service to society, I don't imagine that most of them/us ply their/our trade purely and simply to encourage literacy, forsaking all other worldly considerations.
What interests me, though, is that I only see this with YA authors. I have never seen anyone speak in reverent tones about how John Grisham should be especially honored (and implicitly immune from criticism) for having gotten adults to read. Which is interesting, because John Grisham did start my mother reading, so the statement would be as factually true as it would be about various YA authors. (And while I think reading has been entirely beneficial to my mother, I don't imagine society indebted to John Grisham for it.)
Why is this? I'm curious as to what you think.
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