Why Young Adult?

New York books

Originally uploaded by tsheko

Read Alert has a fascinating debate about the place of the Young Adult label in fiction. To whet your appetite, here’s a section of what Frank Cottrell Boyce says:

‘It used to be the case that you moved on from children’s fiction to adult fiction, from The Owl Service, maybe, to Catcher in the Rye. There were, of course, some adult authors who were more fashionable with teenage readers than others – Salinger, Vonnegut, Maya Angelou. But these were chosen by teenagers themselves from the vast world of books. Some time ago, someone saw that trend and turned it into a demographic. Fortunes were made but something crucial was lost. We have already ghettoised teenagers’ tastes in music, in clothes and – God forgive us – in food. Can’t we at least let them share our reading? Is there anything more depressing than the sight of a “young adult” bookshelf in the corner of the shop’.

Read the string of comments for a satisfying debate on the issue of Young Adult fiction – is the category YA ‘ghettoising’ or ‘the most flexible, challenging and dynamic genre in publishing’?

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