When I was growing up I devoured tales of true heroism that demonstrated the growth of western society from Judeo-Christian values. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Pilgrim’s Progress, even mysteries like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. What has happened since then?
On my book touring travels I cannot tell you how often school teachers and parents were looking for wholesome fiction for their kids. Twilight was the big craze when I was on the road and some people were horrified by some of the content included in those books because they targeted Young Adult readers. I will not speak to Twilight in this post, but I do believe that authors have a responsibility to society to produce fun, wholesome fiction.
“You are what you eat,” is such a common saying. But it’s also accurate to say that “You are what you read.” If our youth are filling their minds with stories of gratuitous violence, casual sex, promiscuity, and vulgarity… what sorts of individuals would you expect them to become?
Books used to be filled with stories of chivalry, self-sacrifice, and self-discipline. Even through fiction young people can learn to be better people with stronger morals. And, very importantly, they can learn how to follow what is right instead of following the crowd. Tales of old were filled with stories of heroes and heroines who stepped back when confronted with temptation and evil. Those heroes and heroines said, “No,” and the readers said, “Wow! I vow to be like that so that I can live in good conscience with my fellow man.”
Thankfully there is a surge of this kind of fiction that is now coming. It will start with the Young Adult category and, I hope, grow into the Middle Grade and Adult fiction.
Question: What fiction books have encouraged you and made you a better person?
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