Teen lit for beginners

When I tell people I want to work as a young adult librarian, I’m often asked how YA literature is different from adult literature. It can be hard to explain, especially to those who have never read a teen book.

Recently, the A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy blog alerted me to a terrific piece by Mary Pearson over at Tor.com called What YA Lit is and isn’t. Pearson ponders why the genre is so often the subject of derision,  and attempts to clear up some of the most common misconceptions about teen books:

“ Young adult books are not a lesser, watered-down version of adult books. They are not any easier or harder to read than adult books and they are certainly not any easier to write. They are just different.”

She goes on to say:

“I think sometimes there is still this basal reader mentality when it comes to teen books, like it is a stepping stone to the “grown-up stuff.” Basal Reader Year 10. Hm, no. It is simply its own unique type of literature that explores the teen experience.”

Pearson’s passionate defense of YA is inspiring—and I can’t help but smile at some of her snarky comments!


Posted on September 25, 2009, in by Erin and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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