Dropping the “Young Adult”

I’m guilty of using it…I classify, too. I was reading a review of The Things a Brother Knows on One-Minute Book Reviews and I discovered that Joan Clark is trying to get things changed in North America…love it. Instead of using the “young adult” label in the UK they classify as “under 12” and “over 12”. (That explains why The Book Thief was released in Australia for an “adult” audience, but somehow was advertises as a “young adult” novel in the US. Anyone know what the Australian equivalent of the NYT Bestseller list is?)

The whole YA classification didn’t even exist when I was a young adult (as a soon to be 28-year-old, I’m now ancient)…and what is a young adult? 18-25? 12-18? 12-25? 14-17? Stupid.

This is what The New York Times should do instead of trying to make James Patterson feel better by moving Harry Potter to a list of children’s books (yes, I know, the earlier books could be for “under 12”, but I question the appropriateness of the later books for that age group…more than anything it depends on reading level and parent and/or teacher involvement in a child’s reading…imo).

Of course, there are still some issues with the huge gap in maturity from a 6 year-old to a 12 year-old, but a lot of people seem to think that “Young Adults” can’t handle “Adult” works or vice versa. What’s our obsession with classifying anyway? I know, I’m a librarian –isn’t that what I do? no. — but I really think that it just depends on what you like. Young adults can like literary fiction just as much as some adults might hate it. Genre fiction doesn’t mean a book is bad, it just means that the author doesn’t have a ridiculously high opinion of themselves (no, not really, but…). There’s also my favorite “Adult books for Young Adults”…totally sounds dirty. And where’s the category of “Young Adult books for Adults”?

Sidenote: I highly recommend following these two wonderful authors on Twitter: Maureen Johnson and Libba Bray

Maureen Johnson is so frickin’ funny. I haven’t even read her books, but I intend to because I love her tweets. Also, from Twitter, I learned that Libba Bray has a glass eye…awesome!


Thoughts? Know any other awesome authors I should follow on Twitter? (I also follow Neil Gaiman…he’s amazing.)

0 thoughts on “Dropping the “Young Adult””

  1. I agree about the whole “young adult” thing. Here at Sunset we renamed our booklists “teen fantasy”, “teen mystery”, etc. and I’m making a conscientious effort to include titles that are normally seen as adult books. When we remodel at the end of the year our teen fiction is probably going to be shelved beside the adult fiction – not interfiled, but right next to each other. I think that is a good thing.

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