Crossing the Line (Jodi Moore)

This month, we’re exploring whether there’s a line in YA, and if it’s meant to be crossed.

Here’s the thing. I don’t believe there’s “a” line.

I believe there are countless lines. Infinite lines. As many lines as there are people and possibilities.

And just as many opinions on what determines "the" line.

What constitutes a line marked with barbed wire for one, may present an enticing invitation to another.

What signifies a terrifying nightmare for one, may expose another person's day-to-day challenge.

What ignites fear and confusion in one, may reveal another person’s salvation.

What's more, crossing a line can indicate an intersection. A place for us to meet.

For readers facing adversity, introducing others who share similar challenges emphasizes they’re not alone. Consequently, it enables those who have not personally crossed a particular line to “experience” situations in a safe way. It fosters understanding. Empathy. Connection.

Of course, not every book needs to, or should, cross a line. Action must never be gratuitous, but rather, should portray the characters in an honest manner, advance the plot and be true to the story’s heart. It must deliver on its promise.

Because sometimes, crossing that line in a book is exactly what someone needs.


  1. I agree completely. I frequently advocate for the importance and value of 'edgy' and controversial YA fiction because I feel it gives teens, especially ones in rural areas who feel like nobody could understand their situation, a lifeline that might save their (fill in the blank with) life, future, self-esteem, sanity.

  2. You've given me so much to think about! I particularly like what you said about intersection and a place to meet!


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