From the ubiquitous appeal of the Harry Potter series, to the rocketing career trajectories of authors like Rick Riordan, Kate DiCamillo and John Green, we are at a point in popular culture where the stories and series that would categorically be branded as “young adult” fiction are more widely known and discussed among all age groups that are the more conventional “adult” titles.
Is this because of some simplification of the average reader’s efforts? Is there some surreptitious effort by the publishing industry to market to two demographics with a single genre of literature? Or is the zeitgeist of the present-day reader attuned to these youth-labeled titles and tales for less conspiratorial, more wholly appreciative reasons?
Joined this week by librarian, book reviewer and technology integrator Joy Piedmont, we look at “young adult” literature as an isolated category, and why its appeal transcends this target audience.
Joy Piedmont on Goodreads
Joy Piedmont (@InquiringJoy) on Twitter
Someday My Printz Will Come – SLJ’s Printz Award speculation blog, co-written by Joy
ALA: The 2015 List of Best Fiction for Young Adults
The ALA Announcement for 2016 Youth Media Award Winners
Noted areas of interest in YA literature, from Joy’s recommendations:
YA: A Category for the Masses. But What About Teens? – SLJ Article 11/3/15
Hardcover to paperback makeovers: 6 ya changes to consider – Cover design in YA (one of many posts Kelly Jensen does on the topic).
Adult Books 4 Teens – A School Library Journal Blog
ALA Youth Media Awards to know (that aren’t the big three)
Edwards Award – A lifetime achievement award for a YA author. This year, David Levithan won. A good starting point to find amazing YA authors with large bodies of work.
Morris Award – Honors a debut author writing for teens. Kind of the opposite of the Edwards. Get in on the ground floor with promising talent.
Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpre, Stonewall, Schneider – For African-American authors, books that honor the Latino/a experience, books that honor the LGBT experience, and books that portray disability. Great resource for excellent diverse titles.
We Need Diverse Books – Forgot to mention, but people in the children’s and YA lit world have been leading this awareness campaign for more books by and featuring people of color. Another reason why kidlit people are awesome.
Some book recommendations:
Contemporary realism – I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
Romance – Anything by Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han
Science Fiction – The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Fantasy – The Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Mystery/Thriller – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Nonfiction – Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
Historical Fiction – The Diviners by Libba Bray (okay, this one’s a cheat because it’s fantasy, scifi, horror, and romance too), Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
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