explicit violence?


"Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity."

Contemporary? Oh? In the 4th of Baum's Oz books, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, the Wizard slices a man in half with a sword, forces others to step into rings of fire that badly burns them (never mind that they're vegetable people -- still people), fires a gun into attackers and hits one in the eye, and possibly burns down an entire civilization.

That was written over a century ago. Just sayin'.  Today's stories are often more about real life -- which isn't a bad thing -- but there's been plenty of darkness in youth literature since the days of Brothers Grimm.


  1. Fairy tales are riddled with violence and abuse...all of them, in fact...

    Bambi's mother killed by a hunter.
    Cinderella was abused by her evil stepmoter and stepsisters.
    Snow White...need I say more?

    What's the difference if it's modern or from old? Violence is violence...it's just put forth in a different manner...

  2. That article is infuriating a lot of people, I've seen.

  3. You're right, William -- from what my fiancee told me when she pointed it out, the backlash started when Neil Gaiman posted about it.

    And you're also right, Beth! The irony about Baum is that he said in his introduction to "The Wizard of Oz" that he wanted a children's story that got away from the violence and scariness of the Old World fairy tales; but the first book was pretty violent itself. In the third book a princess wanted to cut off Dorothy's head, and I already mentioned the fourth book. Without some kind of dramatic/scary/unpleasant event, you don't have a story!

  4. I get tired of the 'true to life' which isn't really true to life at all.
    As for Bambi, I outlawed the book and movie in my house. Snow White still scares me.
    Let us not forget HP series. voldemort and his death eaters are very scary. As long as it's not too far from reality.

  5. I took my kids to see Bambi at the movie theater; it was the first time *I* had ever seen it, otherwise we might not have gone. The HP books, like the magic-filled Oz books a century before, could be terrifying.