The Boys Who Grow to be Good

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Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Sarah Mesle writes a thoughtful essay about the idea, and complications, of manhood as presented in Young Adult literature.

“Why is it that in YA literature — a genre generated entirely to describe the transition to adulthood — there is so much fear and ambivalence surrounding manhood? When I read contemporary young adult novels, I see them asking over and over again a fascinating question, a question both for boys and for the stories describing them: are there any good men? And how can a boy become a good man, if he doesn’t know what that would mean?”

Nothing like those uncomplicated questions of how to be a socially conscientious, involved, and self-aware individual when you grow up.


Nikita Schoen is an intern at The Rumpus, and a Writing & Literature student at California College of the Arts. She lives in San Francisco. More from this author →