"It's the adult characters! They're only there to be ignored. They introduce the young protagonist into the action then step back and play no further part, except maybe at the end. That doesn't strike me as true. Drama-wise, it helps to have your teenage heroes and heroines adrift for a while, developing their skills and learning to fend for themselves, but not for the entire book. YA authors do everything they can to remove grownups from the mix, but that, to me, hits an unrealistic note, and I prefer a bit of realism in my fantasy."
Amory finds J K Rowling's Harry Potter books, to be a prime example of this problem:
"Dumbledore is presented as this godlike, nearly omnipotent figure. He always knows what's going on. Yet in each book he leaves Harry to stumble and bumble along and get into dreadful, life-threatening scrapes for several hundred pages, then emerges at the end to resolve everything, literally with a wave of his wand. It's unfair, to say the least. He ought to pitch in right at the start. If he truly cared about Harry, he would. In fact, someone should report Dumbledore to the education board for cruelty. I'd say Harry's Muggle rights are being infringed!"
In Amory's The Fledging of Az Gabrielson, the first volume in his Clouded World series, the teen hero is in more need of help than most teen heroes.
"Az is a kid who's been born in an environment where everyone has wings … except him," Amory says. "In effect, he's disabled. He can't fly, and the sky-cities his people, the Airborn, inhabit are designed for those who can. He is looked on as a freak and somewhat resented by certain members of his race. This is the obstacle he's had to overcome all his life – until he gets recruited by the Airborn leadership for a mission, one for which he is uniquely suited. The trouble is, Az has a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his winglessness, understandably. Not only does this make him a reluctant hero, it puts him at odds with everyone around him, especially the adults."
You can read the full story at the link above.
Do readers of YA fiction agree with Amory that adults should be more involved in YA novels ? Or will it put off the readers at whom the books are marketed ?