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I love YA fiction, and therefore I'm often annoyed at YA, and younger, reading lists. One of our university students brought in a list from her 5th grade daughter's school summer reading program: WWII Holocaust, teenage suicide, family cancer... Most of them looked to be well written, and probably most of them turned out OK (if you finished them), but there wasn't a single lighthearted, just-plain-fun book in the list. Very significant and full of life lessons, I'm sure, but pretty intimidating, especially for a 5th grader who would rather be outside or watching TV. With lists like that floating around, it's hard to convince people that YA lit isn't all dark and depressing. (By the way, I sent her to her public library's summer reading program, which looked like a much better mix.)

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