Introduction: Job, Teen Librarian 4 years, started 20s-30s program series which coincidentally has a bimonthly program called YABC that reads exclusively YA books.
Why are you here? Teen Librarians, Adult librarians, want book recommendations? Do you run a young adult book club for adults?
White Paper on the Value of YA Lit by Michael Cart The term “young adult literature” is inherently amorphous, because “young adult” and “literature” are dynamic, changing as culture and society — which provide their context — change.
The size of this population segment has also increased as the conventional definition of “young adult” has expanded to include those as young as ten and, since the late 1990s, as old as twenty-five.
YALSA also acknowledges that whether one defines young adult literature narrowly or broadly, much of its value cannot be quantified but is to be found in how it addresses the needs of its readers. Often described as “developmental,” these needs recognize that young adults are beings in evolution, in search of self and identity; beings who are constantly growing and changing, morphing from the condition of childhood to that of adulthood. That period of passage called “young adulthood” is a unique part of life, distinguished by unique needs that are – at minimum — physical, intellectual, emotional, and societal in nature. By addressing these needs, young adult literature is made valuable not only by its artistry but also by its relevance to the lives of its readers. And by addressing not only their needs but also their interests, the literature becomes a powerful inducement for them to read, another compelling reason to value it, especially at a time when adolescent literacy has become a critically important issue.
YA Genre Map: http://www.bookcountry.com/ReadAndReview/Books/GenreMap/ Genres: YA Mystery/Thriller, LGBTQ, Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Historical
Protagonist is almost always between the ages of 12-18 and the characters they interact with in school, unless. dealing with issues that are usually unique to the jr. high/high school experience (if it is set in a realistic timeline), or still first love, sex, postgraduate futures, saving the world. Things they don’t deal with: carpooling children to work, mortgages, divorces- aka things unique to the adult experience
Also- a lot of genre blending, elements of paranormal sometimes slip into an adventure or spy novel to aid the protagonist
Unpredictability is key
Smart characters, unreliable narrators that don’t depend on tropes or the same storylines
Basically what makes a great YA book is what makes a great adult fiction book!
When I speak of crossover books, it means that the book has qualities that adult audiences generally appreciate in a novel.
Blog post circulated a few years ago about ridiculous reasons why adults read ya and it includes: unnatural and prolonged adolescence, YA books are escapist and easier to understand, they aren’t able to read past a middle grade or high school level, nostalgia based, etc. She ends with because they choose to. Malinda Lo, a YA science fiction author challenged this with the hashtag: #whyadultsreadya- got many responses such as “immediacy of story, lack of pretension, imagination still reigns and cynicism isn’t quite as present.”
YA is brutally present, way to remind yourself subconsciously of all of the possible things. “Unpacking Why Adults read Young Adult Fiction”
Why does anyone read anything? Recapture youth. Because a good book is a good book.
When was the last time you read a YA book? Why?
Game changers in modern YA lit
Can also throw in City of Bones which has a rabid fan base John Green and TFIOS also spurred on a supposed “renewed” interest in YA lit when TFIOS was published in 2012 50 Shades of Grey came from dedicated fanfiction. There was also Twilight Moms
SLJ wrote an article about this recently
Ways to engage a wider cross section of readers in new and exciting ways. Give me a zombie who’s one of the last survivors on a war ravaged Earth that needs to fight the totalitarian government on his imprisoned spaceship, but falls in love with his guard who’s really the prince of former America. Who wants to tell me what genre that should be?
Bruchac- adventure, dystopian, thriller?
The Luxe series- Anna Godbersen (historical, paranormal)
Why We Broke Up- Daniel Handler
Killers- son of notorious serial killer teams up with police force to prove that he is not joining the family business, but Jazz has a secret too and is barreling straight towards it as the body count gets higher and the blackouts continue.
Night She Disappeared- when Gabie’s coworker at the pizza place is kidnapped, a fate that was meant for her, she becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth. This suspenseful mystery builds, but what really makes it special are the multiple POVs including the kidnappers and the different formats- newspaper clippings, evidence pieces, interviews and other memorabilia. It also makes you wonder that through the glut of the media- billboard and commercial ads, how much we tune out every day and if we would notice a kidnapping sign or look to recognize a victim any more?
Mentioned in the handbook: Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel- geeky 16 year old Muslim girl in New Jersey
New 52- Marvel Gotham Academy- DC
This One Summer- read at YABC, won the Caldecott which is defined as a picture book for which children are the intended potential audience.
Handbook: Naruto, Black Butler, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z- longstanding series that some younger adults may have grown up with
Naruto Black Butler Fairy Tale Attack on Titan Tokyo Ghoul Sword Art Online
Laurie Halse Anderson?
Historical Fiction: Book Thief- do I really have to say anything more?, Code Name Verity, Between Shades of Grey- out of the easy, takes place in new orleans in the 1950s brothel, intriguing?
Quintessential YA novels of the 80s and 90s that began the YA phenomenon. Required reading if you will. Any other novels you feel belong on this list?
The Outsiders and Perks of Being a Wallflower
Dancer, Daughter- 1982
Eleanor and Park- 1986
Aristotle and Dante- 1987
Cameron Post- 1990s
Althea and Oliver- mid 90s about
Internal struggles that may not be publicly acknowledged. 2 most prolific ones are Speak by LHA and Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Once perhaps referred to as perhaps “problem novels” this is a mislabel as they struggle to integrate their newly formed identity into their public lives.
External conflicts faced by teens in larger world. Relationships of all types
Classic Crossovers- Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman
¾ won the Edwards? Gaiman won the caldecott for Graveyard book
Classics- Hunger Games and now Divergent- Veronica Roth
Adult fiction authors who write YA
Sherrilyn Kenyon Gail Carriger
Meg Cabot Richard Paul Evans
James Patterson Harlan Coben
Sometimes the more out there books provide the best conversation.
Find book club questions- print out
Printz- best YA book of the year Edwards- lifelong contribution to YA
It’s also that time of year when everyone is making lists- Top 10, 100 of everything. But we also have to be skeptical and check resources or vet it. Buzzfeed sometimes has great lists and other times it’s a bit of a question mark?
Not so great list- Time Magazine 100 Best YA books of all time, published end of 2014, about ½ were middle grade or Adult Fiction, included books such as Charlotte’s Web, Matilda, Phantom Tollbooth. Books that are wonderful, but emphatically not YA. Also, only 9 of the books out of 100, were written by diverse authors, or people of color.
Add cute gif- Frozen Elsa
YA Crossover Reads for Adults
YA Crossover Reads
Schaumburg Township District Library
What is young adult literature?
• Category, not a genre
• Literature for and about teenagers
- The Value of Young Adult Literature, Michael Cart
How do YA books differ from
• Protagonist age
• Situations they deal with
are reflective of teen life
• Audience is intended to
be teen readers
What makes a great young
• Engaging Plot and Compelling Storyline
• Strong characters
**Whatmakes a great YA book?The same
qualities that makes a great Adult Fictionbook**
Who’s reading YA and why now?
• 2012 Publishers Weekly Study
• 55% of people who purchased young adult
books were over the age of 18
• 78% purchased for their own reading
“I love the intensity of 1st time experiences,
experimentation & growth we’re told to stop
doing as adults”- Sarah Ockler
The Big 3: The Ultimate YA
• Harry Potter
• Hunger Games
Hybrid novels that borrow 1 or more elements
from other genres
Name a genre blended YA book
Book Clubs for Adults Who <3
• Books available 1
month prior to meeting
• Alternate genres
• Make it timely!
• Tie in other events and coordinate with library
• Book to movie
Great go-to Book Discussion
• Was the novel authentic and the characters believable?
• How did you experience the book? Were you engaged
• Did the narrative style work for you?
• What passages strike you as insightful or profound? Has
the novel changed or moved you?
• Did you like the book? Why or why not?
Resources to find great YA
• Best Fiction for Young Adults
• Teens Top 10
• Abraham Lincoln Award
• National Book Award
Resources to find great YA
• Teen Librarian Toolbox
• Forever Young Adult
• YA Books Central
Schaumburg Township District Library