Posts Tagged: young adult literature
In the best collaborations, creative individuals push themselves to work with new media and singular, wild things issue forth. Jeff Antebi of Waxploitation Records has managed to create just this kind of magic in his book, Stories for Ways and Means....more
Particularly in the case of children’s writers, some part of me might hope that these tourist sites will be living manifestations of beloved stories, of stories that seemed like physical locations, places to escape, as real as real life. Maybe it has something to do with seeking to make literal the metaphorical experience of being lost in stories, of meeting again characters who seem three-dimensional, flesh and blood, like old, good friends, like a part of me.
It is optimistic in terms of fiction and young adult fiction to propose a world in which there is healing, and in which healing exists, because complete or perfect healing doesn’t exist in the real world. But there is the idea of making room for new people.
At NPR Education, Byrd Pinkerton looks at the emergence of children’s literacy and literature, starting with 17th century learning primers through to the late 20th century’s complex young adult literature, all of which have helped define the idea of “childhood” through the centuries....more
The YA novel The Face on The Milk Carton has marked a thrilling yet disturbing rite of passage for many young readers over the past 25 years, iconic right down to its simple, haunting cover—which many of those readers could easily conjure from memory....more
Contributors over at Huffington Post discuss five fictional characters that stimulated their pre-teen/teen sexual awakening, including Artemis from Artemis Fowl and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables:
When it comes to my sexual awakening in fiction, specific characters figure very little.
Upbeat YA protagonists are a far cry from the tortured figures we’re used to watching on television. Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer makes her predictions for Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables’s forthcoming return to the small screen:
Two iconic characters with sunny auras and relatively straightforward histories are about to be reimagined in the context of today’s dark, morally ambiguous antiheroes.
At the School Library Journal, Kelly Jensen examines gender norms and double standards in YA fiction, questioning which female protagonists we refer to as “strong”—and why do not refer to male voices as such:
When women take risks in their writing, when they choose to write female-driven narratives with take-no-bull girls who may not care at all whether you like them or not, they’re not seen as brave.
With the publication of several new young adult novels by teen authors, Julia Eccleshare wonders if age impacts a novelist’s ability to connect with younger readers. In addition, Eccleshare returns to the origins of the young adult genre, and investigates the influence of popular works by John Green, Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary....more
What do Yukio Mishima, Tana French, Shirley Jackson, and John Steinbeck have in common?
They’re the masterminds behind a couple of the most evil fictional youngsters of all time, according to a list compiled by British bookstore Abebooks. The list shuns contemporary malevolent characters in favor of the “utterly evil” children of yore, reasoning: “While Draco, Augustus, Violet and Veruca may be distasteful, they are actually quite mild-mannered compared to some of the horrible children literature has to offer.”...more
Sex scenes in YA, the kind that (gulp) turn us on and make our cheeks flush and get our hearts racing, have never been more important than they are now. Stories that give protagonists flesh and bone and heart and all that goes with being in a body also give us a portrait of sexual intimacy born of desire, of need for one’s partner, of passionate love and want and its fulfillment, of playfulness and fun and joy.
Hit young adult novels may spread like wildfire, but they don’t grow on trees. The Times profiles Julie Strauss-Gabel, a YA editor known for whipping her writers into shape:
The last thing you want is an author saying, ‘That’s what’s selling right now, so that’s what I’m going to write.’ That’s the point at which a trend gets icky.
Even if we already know our identity, proper representation helps us accept that identity. It’s well-established that negative/no representation has awful effects on self-esteem. When we see no one like us—or when we’re only ever the troubled sibling, never the heroic kid —it sends a message.
Good news! Early reports show that book sales are up 4.9 percent in 2014. Who can we thank for this Christmas miracle? Adults who read e-book versions of YA novels, that’s who. Sales are up by a dramatic 53 percent in YA/Children’s e-books, while sales in Adult Fiction/Nonfiction are down 3.3 percent—maybe because all the adults are reading The Hunger Games on their Kindles instead....more
For the New Yorker, Jon Michaud reveals how S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, a staple in middle school and high school classes, came to define the young adult genre:
“The Outsiders died on the vine being sold as a drugstore paperback,” Hinton told me, but her publisher “noticed that in one area it was selling very well.
This summer’s debate over young adult literature has raised questions ranging from whether adults should read YA to what even counts as thee genre in the first place. The New Yorker’s television critic Emily Nussbaum extends these questions to the world of television, where adolescent dramas have had a different impact on the development and survival of the medium:
This debate has focused on books.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a creepy new book cover presumably intended to attract older readers, giving another stir to the pot of YA literature that may or may not be OK for adults to read. In the New Yorker, Margaret Talbot wishes people would argue about something more interesting....more
Young adult fiction has never been more popular among grownup-adults—more than half of YA books are sold to people over the age of 18. There isn’t anything wrong with the occasional guilty pleasure, or even in indulging in topics that are, by definition, childish, says Ruth Graham, writing at Slate, but should we be concerned that we’re all losing some perspective?...more
As a queer woman of color who writes young-adult fiction, Malinda Lo “was a little bit taken aback by the sheer paucity of books I could find about queer characters of color.”
If you, too, have been seeking those sorts of books without much success, look no further: Lo has compiled a list, which, though (hopefully) not exhaustive, is a great resource for many young readers starving to see themselves represented in media of any kind....more
Upworthy has an exhaustive (but not at all exhausting) list of young-adult books besides the Harry Potter series for the teenager in your life (or you—no judgment!).
Historical fiction (The Book Thief, Island of the Blue Dolphins), utopian/dystopian fiction (The Giver, The House of the Scorpion), classics (Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows)—it’s all there....more
In an interview for the Young Adult Library Association’s blog, YA novelist Malinda Lo talks about writing within certain genres—young adult, fantasy/sci-fi, feminist, LGBT—and how it can be both confining and liberating.
…I know that labels can be a useful way to find something you’re interested in.
Ella snorted a last bit of smoke from her nose, like a dragon, and flung her butt in the creek. “That’s not a job, Soph. That’s slavery. There are child labor laws. I bet you could call social services on your mom and they would take you away like that.” Ella snapped her fingers.