if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

On the Tenth day of Christmas Vacation

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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