YA Lit Tackles Modern Concerns

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Plenty of critics have lamented the rise of Young Adult literature, but its popularity isn’t accidental. The genre is focusing on contemporary problems and, more importantly, manifesting them in easily digestible ways that appeal not just to teens, but to adults as well. Damien Walter explains at the Guardian:

Young adult novels externalise evil as an enemy that can be seen and understood. They give teenagers a Lord Voldemort, a monster that can be defeated, an evil that can be vanquished. But increasingly the evil in young adult fiction is the adult world itself.


Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →