Rise of the Planet of the Young Adults: Some Questions for Library Types

Hey all. I’m working on a piece about what was lost in the rise of “young adult” as a publishing category. But I do not want to just whack merrily at a straw man (I want to whack merrily at a real man! wait…) so I have some questions. Email me at eve_tushnet@yahoo.com if you have answers, opinions, stories, etc.

# 1. What are your favorite YA books? And what leads you to think of them as YA and not some other category?

# 2. Tell me any odd or notable experiences you’ve had looking for a) YA books, or b) books for a kid in that tween-teen range. Ditto if you’ve written these books. You may request anonymity if you would like to tell tales out of school!

#3. Have you read YA as an adult, or revisited old YA favorites? What were your impressions of that?

#4. Who do you think of when you think “YA novelist”? Do you have a sense of what you’d expect to be the biggest differences between a YA book and a children’s book or adult book?

#5. If you’re older than 30: Did the library you used as a teen have a YA section or label? Were there books in the children’s or adult section which you’d now think of as obviously YA? (lol that forerunner of the sparkly vampire romance, Annette Curtis Klause’s The Silver Kiss…)

As for my own favorites–the first three to come to mind for me are Diana Wynne Jones’s Fire and Hemlock, Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, and Gordon Korman’s Son of Interflux. I don’t know if it says more about the ’70s/’80s publishing world, my tastes, or YA as a genre that the two of those I read as an actual adolescent were written by authors better known for their children’s books.


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