From the Archives: On the Tenth day of Christmas Vacation

December 31st, 2012 • Kate

Ten Lords A-Leaping.jpgI’m all about raising a glass to ring in the New Year tonight! And I’m curious how you handle alcohol in YA novels. I have no doubt kids today (*shakes fist metaphorically*) are drinking, but do you feel showing it in a novel can feel natural and true? Or is the inclination always to show it as a bad choice, or something that leads to bad consequences?

I’m thinking of my own teenage years in college, and my early twenties — and I’m sure lots of people have this experience — where I drank socially but not to excess (or not always, at least). And I think I turned out ok. What do you think would be the result of showing that in a novel? Can you share any novels that you think have handled teen drinking in a natural way that didn’t turn it into a lesson or feel preachy somehow?

Hopefully this doesn’t sound too after-school-specialish, topic-for-discussiony, but I’m honestly curious.

Rexroth contributes Scott Westerfeld‘s Uglies. What else ya got?

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One Response to “From the Archives: On the Tenth day of Christmas Vacation”

  1. Diana Says:

    I drank alcohol when I was a teen, so I don't think of it as a "very special episode" kind of thing. I also traveled in Europe, where in many places they serve you as long as you're tall enough to see over the bar. The characters in Rampant and Ascendant drink alcohol. One of the characters, Giovanni, abstains because part of the reason he's IN Europe is because he got kicked out of school in New York when his drinking got out of hand. But that's not the main focus of the plot. It's something that happened, and the other characters don't think much of drinking or not drinking, which is consistent with my experience — some people can handle the responsibility and some can't. I think there's also mention of a mildly alcoholic cider in For Darkness — I guess I'm not really a puritan about characters drinking, especially when they are not living in this country or time!