It isn’t very often that I do discussion posts here on It’s A Reader’s Life but about a month back I saw a post retweeted by Youtuber Zoella criticising her role in young people and reading. The article by The Daily Mail was titled ‘Is Zoella to blame for falling reading skills?’ and I have to admit, this article made me SO angry!
The article basically argues that the poor reading age of high school children is due to books such as Zoella’s Girl Online and J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter as they are not challenging enough. For those of you who don’t know, Zoella is the biggest female, YouTuber in the UK. She has published three books,Girl Online, Girl on Tour and Girl Going Solo, which were all bestsellers, hitting the UK book charts. On top of this, Zoe works in partnership with W.H. Smith on her book club. So far there has been three book clubs, the third including world famous authors like Jennifer Niven, and Zoella chooses some of her favourite books to release with brand new covers as part of a set at a discounted price or sold separately.
I am completely for everything Zoella has done for the book community. She is an avid reader and makes her love for YA well known on her social media and through her book clubs and novels. It is no secret that she is a huge role model to young people and she is very influential in there lives. Because of this, I believe she is a massive help in encouraging more people to read. The Daily Mail criticises these teenagers for reading novels that are perhaps below their reading age but I think that some of them wouldn’t even be reading at all if it wasn’t for Zoella. Its no secret that reading isn’t considered ‘cool’ these days but Zoe is taking a huge step in the right direction in making it popular for the mainstream.
I believe it is so important to encourage younger people to read. Of course there are the obvious reasons for this, reading is educational and widens peoples vocabulary etc, but I also think teenagers should be reading to help and guide them through their adolescence years. These days, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ and sexual health are becoming much more prominent topics in YA and for the most part, every teenager is affected but at least one of these things. Therefore, its hugely important that teenagers are reading about these things, not just to educate themselves like Angie Thomas aims to do with her novel ‘The Hate U Give’, but to help them understand their identity and guide them through any problems they are facing. The YA genre is frowned upon by many. It isn’t recognised as a respectable genre and I think this really has to change.
Reading is a massive form of escape for me. I’ve loved reading ever since I can remember and I am consistent in encouraging more people to read. It is beneficial in more ways than one, which is why I was so angered by the Daily Mail’s article. Zoella is a huge help in persuading more young people to read and making a name for YA.
What are your opinions on this? Do you think Zoella is a positive or negative influence on the book community? Let me know in the comments