I have a confession: I am addicted to ID TV, Dateline, and 48 Hours.
But here’s the kicker: I can’t read true crime.
The true crime books are too much for me. I often explain it like this: reading is an active activity and TV is a passive one. With active activity, you have to engage your mind. When I read, the book becomes a movie in my head. TV is different. You can turn on the TV and do other things. I like to cook and work on this blog while the TV is on.
Recently, my roommate made fun of my addiction, and a light bulb went off. Is there YA true crime?
By YA true crime, I don’t mean crimes featuring young adults or teens. I wonder, because I know I am not alone in my love of ID TV and Dateline, are the true books aimed for young adults? (Of course I am thinking 16 and older readers.)
I recently read two Romanov’s biographies. One, by Robert K. Massie was aimed for adult readers and the second book by Candance Fleming was aimed for young adult readers. One thing I noticed between these two books was how the subject matter was dealt with. Massie’s was much more dry and in the details. Fleming’s focused on developing a story and balance. So why am I mentioning these two books?
When I was thinking about YA true crime I realized that if it is to be done, it has to be handled just right. The writer will have to balance the darkness of the story and not overload a young reader with every detail. The thing I love about Dateline and 48 Hours is that it is not just the crime, but the hunt for the who and why of it all.
I would like to see some young adult true crime books. Detective books and murder mysteries are about to come back into the spotlight, and I think this should be a development in the YA nonfiction lists.
If you have ever read a young adult true crime, please let me know in the comments and I will check it out!