Young Adult Literature

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Is Children and Young Adult Literature meant for children and teens or adults?

Young adult literature and children’s literature is a true paradox. It is written by adults but the market suggests it is made for teens and children.

  • I'm 21, and YA literature is among my favorite genres. I think it would be interesting to discuss why some hold the belief that YA is not a "grownup" genre. Especially since it is rapidly becoming one of the most popular genres out there, with an exponential rise in both sales and content. – ValleyChristion 2 years ago
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  • I guess it's young adult or children as the characters are of this age; however, some might argue that the topics addressed might not always be suitable for a younger audience. For example, To Kill a Mockingbird is told through the voice of a child, but the content is definitely geared towards an adult. – tclaytor 2 years ago
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  • There is an article and a topic that cover the similar dilemma of adults within YA lit! I would suggest that whoever writes this topic explore those to see what they can add to the discussion and how a new angle can be explored. The topic can be found here: https://the-artifice.com/can-ya-lit-still-benefit-and-be-enjoyable-to-adult-readers-does-it-need-a-fresh-start/ while the article can be found here: https://the-artifice.com/cliche-young-adult-literature/ – Pamela Maria 2 years ago
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  • I think young adult literature is primarily marketed to teenagers but one can easily relate to them as an adult because young adult, especially these days, does target a lot of important issues. Additionally, I have noticed from reading children/middle grade versus young adult books that there is a significant difference in the writing tone of the books. Children/Middle-Grade tends to be much more simplistic in its writing whereas Young Adult doesn't feel that way with its writing. That being said, there are children/middle-grade books that adults enjoy as well. Sometimes authors write books in a way that although marketed for one demographic can appeal to many. One example is Roald Dahl books where you can read them as a child as well as when older and you will get something new out of them :) – Zohal99 2 years ago
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  • A timely topic, but perhaps too broad. We could argue about who YA literature is for all day, but in the end I think people will read what they want--unless they feel there s some kind of stigma attached. Why not explore that? Personal examples: I love the plotlines of some YA books that are out now, but will rarely buy them in paperback. When I do, I will buy an adult novel too, just so the cashier or other bookstore shoppers or whoever doesn't think, "Look at that 32-year-old woman reading that kids' book." Or, I'll buy them for my Kindle so I can quickly switch books when/if I need to. Is this right? Does this feel good? No, but it's something I sometimes feel the need to do--and I find myself asking why. – Stephanie M. 2 years ago
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Can YA Lit still benefit and be enjoyable to adult readers? Does it need a fresh start?

There tends to be a negative stigma attached to Young Adult literature these days. It’s too cliché, it’s all the same, there too many vampires, angels or oppressing dystopian societies etc etc. And it seems once you’ve passed a certain age you’re looked down on for still reading and enjoying these books. Do you, as an adult, walk down the Young Adult aisle and fear the judging eyes on you from behind? As if they’re silently telling you to grow up? Is this a problem within the genre or people in general? Do you believe that we need a fresh wave of writers to bring a new edge to the idea of Young Adult literature to crack this stigma attached?

  • I completely understand your concern about the stigma surrounding YA. I would be the first to disagree with you and the genre, except that I found that the true value in YA is with the wisdom entrusted within the prose and the imagination. Nothing ever changes in life, the more we progress in time, the more certain things remain constant, is the way I see it. I find myself going back to the tried and true pages of text, and realizing how powerful the messages were, I was just too distracted and inexperienced to make sense of it. YA is at the bottom of my list of books to read, but certainly will remain a vital recourse when I ever hit that road block every writer faces. – lofreire 3 years ago
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  • YA is going through a trilogy phase for sure. – Munjeera 3 years ago
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  • There has also been a trend in YA of forced social issues taking precedence over the plot. If these themes are at the forefront, it starts to feel more like a lecture than a narrative. Social issues should happen organically in fiction and leave the reader with enough information to discuss and form their own opinions. – AGMacdonald 3 years ago
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  • I'm suspicious of the YA designation because so much of the time, the books seem to be pretty similar (not necessarily with plot devices or dystopian view, but in their view of young adulthood as-told-from privileged adulthood). Also, YA is a pretty profitable market, hence the cliches and repetition. The genre designation is very convenient as a marketing and book-sales tool. As for "outgrowing" YA, that's why the publishing industry has a growing interest in the term New Adult, which is a kind of transitional term between YA and Adult fiction -- that might be an interesting place to look to answer this question of stimga. – belindahuang18 3 years ago
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  • That judgment is precisely why I don't buy YA in bookstores (I usually use Kindle). Having admitted I do read it, I'm also pretty picky about what I do choose. YA literature does, in my opinion, need something of a facelift. It's become stereotypical; most people think YA is either dystopian or saucy teen romance. As we know though, it's much more than that. – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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  • I am quite the contrary to the opinion held of YA, and my preference in regarding this topic. My position is though--modestly, different. I am an adolescent, presently I do not take interest in YA literature, though I must admit no young adult commonly prefers philosophy instead. It isn't enjoyable to me (YA) , though I enjoy the "boring" stuff. Anyone up for discussion, just let me know. – Mindovermatter 3 years ago
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  • I think this stigma around YA is actually an opportunity for writers to take the challenge to break this stereotype and produce new creative stories, such as focusing on character development or less typical youth scenarios/issues. – EmilyJarvie 3 years ago
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Deconstructing YA Literature in "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

On the surface, Jesse Andrews’ debut novel "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (2012) might seem like another Young Adult novel with quirky teen characters and a bittersweet coming-of-age story. But is there more to the novel than meets the eye? Analyze how the characters comment and critique certain cliches found in YA literature and how it deconstructs this facet of the literary community.

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    What's new in Young Adult Literature

    We’ve read the Hunger Games, The Divergent Series, and The Maze Runner series, but what’s next? What new adventures are in store for young adults? Essentially this will just be an article listing some recently published Young Adult novels that people can add to their reading lists. Preferably it’d be nice if the writer has read these books.

    • There are many similarities between these series, and I do believe that the next generation of Young Adult Books cannot come soon enough. I am a 20 year old who has a different taste in literature, and am working on some books that also are different from the trend of today. The differences are simple. Less focus on the romance, or a rinse and repeat story line, and more focus on what I can contribute as future inspiration for other aspiring authors. I am not writing a book, I am creating a universe. And I create this universe with the hope that it will inspire someone else to do the same. – Thomas 4 years ago
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