Why Try YA?

Posted In: Youth and Families, Collections, State Library Resource Center, Reviews
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By Liz Sundermann

Have you read The Hunger Games books or are you someone who wonders why your friends are scrambling to find a series written for teens? Teen fiction is the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry, but it’s not just teens who are driving this trend. More and more adults are reading teen fiction, and for reasons as diverse as the stories themselves. Gone are the days when “YA Fiction” meant rows upon rows of Babysitter’s Club and tear-jerking problem novels. Today’s teen lit is often sharp, smart, and innovative in a way that much adult fiction is not. Renowned teen fiction author Patricia McCormick examines the phenomenon in a recent New York Times editorial.

People often ask me what teen fiction is about. The answer is that it’s about everything, written in all styles, just like adult fiction. But teen fiction is more immediate, more personal. It strips away the memories and years and retrospection of adult fiction and leaves you with something more highly concentrated. As Baltimore resident Katy Mazz, 30, puts it, “It wasn’t until I graduated from college and started my normal, middle-class life that I really got into teen fiction. Sure, I like stories for adults too – but there’s something so easy and relaxing about teen fiction – and there’s so much hope and potential in the characters.” An LA Times article cites “Vibrancy” among many other reasons why adults are turning to Teen Lit.

Beauty QueensThe Rock and the RiverLife on Mars

If you haven’t already, why not give it a try and see what you’ve been missing. Not sure where to start? Here’s Pratt’s CEO, Dr. Carla Hayden, on WBAL-TV 11 sharing some notable titles that have been just as popular with adults as they have with teens.

For more teen fiction that the Enoch Pratt Free Library recommends covering a wide array of subjects, check out our Teen Pratt Picks lists.

I love teen fiction because it's usually so tightly written. When I read adult books, often the author goes on and on about things that aren't really important. Teen books, even when they're long, tend not to have wasted words.
Posted by: Meredith at 6/27/2012 1:11 p.m.

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