I stumbled onto this term today. For me, at least, it was new. I’ve never heard of sick lit. After reading a few articles about it, I have to say I’m a bit concerned. Teenagers are dramatic enough and easily influenced enough now without having them wallow in depressing topics like anorexia, cancer, and so on.
I agree that educating our children about these diseases is important, but are we over doing it? Are we going to end up with a generation of hypochondriacs? Are we going to have kids worrying constantly that they’re going to get some incurable disease? Are they going to hide symptoms of real illnesses because they think they know about them from reading this literature or they’re scared they’re going to die?
I think if I were a parent, I wouldn’t want my children reading this stuff. I think the potential effects are pretty scary at least for some kids who are in their impressionable pre-teen and teen years. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Here are a few links to brief articles that talk about sick lit.
- Sick-lit: a symptom of publishing’s decline?
- The ‘sick-lit’ books aimed at children: It’s a disturbing phenomenon. Tales of teenage cancer, self-harm and suicide…
- Vampires make way for sick-lit in young adult books