Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Reads Young Adult Novels?

by Michelle Gagnon

So I'm currently at Bouchercon, the annual world mystery conference. This year we've all gathered in Cleveland, and today I had the pleasure of sitting on a YA panel with our own Jordan Dane (Keir Graff, Joelle Charbonneau, and Bev Irwin also participated).

The questions was raised: how many adults are currently reading young adult novels? A current statistic actually lists the number at 52%, so apparently more adults than teens are digging into YA fiction.

Granted, a lot of that could be attributed to the wild success of the Twilight and Hunger Games series (not to mention Harry Potter). But with that in mind, should YA novels still be shelved in a separate section in bookstores?

One of my favorite novels of the past few years was The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I firmly believe that it stands up against any great novel written for adults. The language is sheer poetry, the story gripping, the characters believable and well-portrayed. So should I have to climb an elevator in Barnes & Noble to find a copy?

A few of the librarians in the audience this morning addressed the issue, saying that they were resisting pressure to shelve teen books exclusively in the teen section.

I'm off to the opening reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now (woo-hoo!), so this will of necessity be brief. But I'd love to know what everyone thinks...


Unknown said...

books for young adults

Young adult contents are mostly liked by the people who are under some specific range of age. At these time of age kids really want to enjoy and laughf on character mentioned in the story.

Michelle said...

Thanks, Rose!

Jordan Dane said...

Our YA panel was a packed house. So much fun too. Great to see you at Bouchercon!

Matching Socks said...

I am an adult who avidly reads YA. And not even a young adult. Here are my dos centavos. If they move YA books to the adult section, how will I find them? I would have to wade through adult books. It would be like panning for gold. I don't mind heading straight to the YA section in the bookstore. Plus, I meet delightful young people there. I wish the digital distributors would be better at separating YA from children and middle grade. They lump them all together (dramatic eye roll). It makes it harder to find books when you have to wade through so much.