Friday, March 06, 2009

Faith in YA Books

The Boston Globe has an interesting article on faith in books, specifically the emergence of Mormon women writers, “who are surging into the genre of young adult literature, finding a happy marriage between the expectations of their religion and the desires of a burgeoning publishing niche.”

Michael Paulson, author of the article, attributes this rise to “several unique characteristics of their faith and culture: an aversion to the sex and swearing that prevails in adult fiction, a propensity for large families that often means a child-focused life, and an affinity for fantasy writing.”

Chris Crowe, a professor of English at BYU, said:
And there also seems to be a high level of appreciation for fantasy literature in Mormondom - a phenomenon that is striking because it contrasts with the critiques of wizardry and magic often heard from evangelical Protestants, who, like Mormons, are often socially conservative.

"With a lot of conservative religions - and Mormonism would definitely qualify - there is a taboo against fantasy concepts, against magic, and you hear people speaking against Harry Potter," said Hale, the author of "Princess Academy."

"But there's never been any fear of fantasy or science fiction among Mormons. I think Mormons believe a lot of things that are pretty fantastic - we believe in miracles and angels and ancient prophets and rediscovered Scripture - so maybe it is almost natural for us to dive into these other stories."
As I said, it’s an interesting article. If you write YA, it’s well worth reading.

TweetIt from HubSpot


  1. Well, Battlestar Galactica is based on Mormon doctrine...

    Interesting! Nothing like some morals and standards in YA fiction. My series is inspirational in nature. Nice to know there will be more secular books in that style...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Diane, I had never thought about Battlestar Gallactica! How interesting. That'll give me something to discuss with my son who really likes Battlestar Gallactica, plus he's a huge philosophy and history buff.

  3. I can't remember back far enough to write YA. (G)

    Morgan Mandel

  4. Battlestar Galactica? Wow that's news to me.

  5. Interesting post but I'm like Morgan - YA goes back too many years for me too!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  6. Now that's an interesting development in the literary world. I can see how it's a good fit and a natural evolution.

  7. The original Battlestar Gallictica, not the new version. There is a planet called Kobol (instead of Kolob) and the leader is called Adama and there are a few other parallels that don't come to mind just now (I was pretty young at the time). I think the reason why Mormons have no problem with fantasy and science fiction is b/c they (we) are less likely to be threatened by it. We know it isn't true--so what? We know what we believe in. So many people of other faiths just don't know what their doctrine is--they might be believing something that isn't true or not believing something that IS if they read something controversial. They know not. Some religions base their whole doctrine on what is wrong with others--so they only know what they DON'T believe in. That means that things like Harry Potter--which contains things they don't believe in--wrong just like the Mormons, and the Jews and all the other religions they have studied. (Just my take on it, of course.)

  8. Aw, Morgan, you are funny. Refresh your memory by going to a Chuck E. Cheese. Just don't eat the pizza.

  9. It's been forever since I was a tween or teen, but I think maybe I could write a YA. It might be difficult not to bring in my own memories from that age. Things were definitely different back then. I bet kids today don't even have to walk two miles to school in the cold or fight off dinosaurs with clubs.

  10. Thank you Heidi for shedding more light on this subject of the increase of Mormon authors writing Young Adult.

    I like the Harry Potter books. Even though they include wizards, witches and magic, I never understood the outcry against them. They just seemed to me to be a different and entertaining way of showing the importance of doing good, fighting evil, loving all kinds, and a lot of other "good" values.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...