Young Adult Literature

Lisa and I spent a couple of hours yesterday going over reviews of newly published young adult books, deciding what to order, what to watch and maybe order in the future, what to forget about entirely.

Young adult books are, by many accounts, the healthiest area of the publishing field; one young adult author I know told me that it’s the fastest growing sector of the market.  I’ve also heard, from another author who had written what he thought was an adult novel, that his agent told him he’d have a better chance of being published if it was a young adult book, and that the book would last longer if it was categorized as young adult.  All very interesting, and very promising.  The books that Lisa and I looked at yesterday cover a broader range of subjects than I remember from eight years ago (when I was at Simmons) and are getting to be less “issue books” and more quality books.  In addition, we discovered a lot of great non-fiction books for young adults.

I’m especially excited about Respect: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect and Dealing When Your Line is Crossed by Courtney Macavinta and Andrea Vander Pluym.  Lisa discovered a review of this book somewhere, and requested a copy from another library, so we’ve been able to preview it.  Though at first it  seemed controversial (hence wanting to preview it), it is a thoughtful guide for teenage girls in how to assert themselves in a positive way, respecting themselves and their own opinions while still being kind to other people.  Particularly great is the chapter on Sex — I was a little worried at first that this chapter might get some knickers in a twist, but in actuality it stresses the emotional aspect of sex over the physical aspects.  The authors gently teach their readers that self-respect is a key element of sex, and ultimately their advice might keep girls from getting into situations for which they’re not yet ready.  Best of all, as in the rest of the book, the authors suggest specific wording to use in awkward situations/conversations (like the “If you loved me, you’d sleep with me” conversation).

Needless to say, we ordered this title today, along with forty-nine others.  A big order, yes, but it should keep us for a couple of months before we put in another big order.  Keep your eyes out for these new books to be hitting the library’s shelves in a couple of weeks (when our cataloger’s back from a well-deserved vacation!).

One thought on “Young Adult Literature”

  1. 1. L. Diane Wolfe Says:
    August 3rd, 2006 at 7:50 am
    If you just spent time wading through YA titles to order, then I know you had quite a challenge! Until I became an author, I had not idea how salacious YA books had become. I originally wrote my series for adults, but by Book II, found I had a growing teen fan base. Reading a Wall Street Journal article regarding the content of most YA titles, and seeing what was on the book shelves, I realized I needed to alter my target audience to include YA. I’m glad you were so successful in locating titles for your library!
    2. Abby Says:
    August 3rd, 2006 at 8:07 am
    It’s true, there are a lot of “salacious” YA books out there – but we find that some of them are well-written and worth reading. The trick is to always look for the level of quality in the YA books, regardless of whether they’re squeaky-clean or not so so squeaky! With so many of them out there, it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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