Sunday, July 27, 2008

Young Adult, not so young anymore

Hello, I'm baaaack. Filling in today for Debra St. John, who I hope is enjoying herself. Thank you again for letting me blog with you!

The young adult genre has changed over time. It’s not the same YA I used to read as a kid. As a matter of fact, I bet if you walked into the YA section of your own local B&N you would be surprised.

The YA of my day, and I swear I’m not THAT old, were generally either for young kids or if they were for older kids, they tried to push some moral beliefs down your throat. (Judy Blume excluded of course!) But oh, that has a changed! Now you can pick up anything from wizards to vampires to rich spoiled kids to historical teens. And yes, some of them actually have (gasp) s-e-x.

Okay, all kidding aside, it’s true. Young Adult is now sort of split up by young adult and Teen fiction. The teen fiction geared more for the older kids, and I’m only talking maybe fifteen and up, and the young adult is geared more toward the tweens, eleven/twelve and up. And you have to include the “and up” because yes there are some adults, yours truly included, that really enjoy reading (and writing) YA.

I personally think YA books speak to young readers today and make them more aware of the world around them. I also think that writers of YA have a certain responsibility, not to preach but to guide readers. Where they lead or the path the reader chooses to go is up to the reader, but the bottom line-- it isn’t a bad place.

My YA is geared toward the 12 and up group and I write mostly to encourage readers to see that we are not all perfect. My first novel takes place in high school, as does my current work in progress. I don’t preach, I just try to let readers know that they are not alone, that what they are feeling is normal and that even the freaks or geeks can turn out just fine, because most of us actually thought that we were freaks and geeks and you know, it turns out, that was only in our heads.

So, take some time and walk over to the YA section or scroll through it on or and see what’s out there. Maybe you’ll even pick up a book or two (Ordinary Me) and just sit back and enjoy.

Have a great week!

Author of Ordinary Me, a young adult book.


Debra St. John said...

Thanks for filling in, June! YA has changed a lot over the years. I think a lot of it is edgyier (is that a word?!?!?)

Frank Braman said...

Interesting blog June. Keep it up