Children's fiction is having its own #MeToo moment

Earlier this week, this happened:

Jay Asher was quietly expelled from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators last year after the organization determined that the Thirteen Reasons Why author violated its harassment code, [Entertainment Weekly] has confirmed. The news only became public on Monday, after Asher received scrutiny in the wake of a School Library Journal article on sexual harassment in children’s publishing.

Yesterday, this happened:

James Dashner, author of the Maze Runner series, has been dropped by his literary agent following sexual-misconduct claims. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael W. Bourret confirmed that he would no longer be representing the young-adult novelist. The agent explained, “I couldn’t in good conscience continue working with James, and I let him go yesterday.”

Women are finally speaking out about harassment and sexual misconduct in an industry that, to outsiders, seems as inoccuous as a day at the park.

Here's a piece of advice I hope you'll take to heart in the days ahead: before you follow your instinct to defend an author you love from these charges, take a break from the internet. Stop feeding the always-churning social media machine with your hot takes. Listen to the accusers. Wait to see if more accusers come forward. Really think about what the accusers have to gain from their charges. Do some hard thinking about it, and also consider if your opinion is even necessary to the conversation. There are lots of causes in the world — an infinite number of hills on which you can choose to die — and your time, attention, and energy are limited resources. Make sure you're expending those energies on causes that really matter.