Have Young Adult Books Become More Popular and Respectable?

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I was shopping in a local suburban Borders book store the other day and a noticed a big change. The Young Adult books which had formerly been housed in a small section inside the Kids’ Books area, were now not only in the main part of the store, but were made very noticeable with big displays and aisles in different directions.

Many adults are now reading YA novels. The Harry Potter series set this in motion. Then the Twilight series cemented the idea that adults can love YA just as much as teens, if not more. Since I’ve begun reviewing Young Adult novels, I have been surprised at how much I am enjoying them. Adults will be much more apt to buy YA books if they don’t have to go searching in the kids section to do so.

I have noticed that YA publishers are trying to attract more teens to their books also. Simon and Schuster has created a website, Pulse It, that allows teens between the ages of 14 and 18 to read books free online and then review them on the site. Since teenagers are more prone to listen to recommendations from their peers than from adults, I think this is a great strategy. The Pulse It site also includes Blogs and Message Boards about Young Adult books.

Penguin Publishers has created a YA Central page. This page offers short videos dealing with their Young Adult books. They could include an interview with an author, a group of teens discussing a book or a trailer for a movie being made from a YA book. While not as interesting to teens, this could be a great site for parents, teachers and librarians to learn more about new Young Adult books.

What do you think about all this. Are you an adult that has begun to read YA books? Have you been noticing them more and more? Are you a teen that now has parents reading your books? If you are an adult and haven’t tried any yet, I would highly recommend doing so. Check out the Hunger Games. The much awaited sequel, Catching Fire, will be out soon. If you click on “Books” in the label widget on this page you will find many reviews or write-ups on some excellent Young Adults books currently on the market.

See also:  
Help Finding Books for Teens
Best Books for Families
18 New YA Books for Teens in 2011

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Comments

  1. This is definitely a recent trend that I’ve noticed as well. Every bookstore I’ve visited has expanded their young adult section considerably, and there’s always somebody browsing there. I trace this growth back to the Harry Potter series. Those novels got a lot of young people reading, which showed publishers that there was a huge, untapped market for young adult novels. The increasing popularity of anime and graphic novels in the US has also helped spur growth in this genre. I think everyone knows that the recent resurgence of vampires in pop culture is due to the Twlight series, but there’s a lot of other fantasy/sci-fi/occult books aimed at young adults fueling this fire as well.

    One thing I’m glad to see coming out of this trend is that many young adult books are not just standalone titles but parts of ongoing series, which help ensure that teens will keep reading! There’s a number of “teen lit” titles written for teenagers about the lives of teenagers, and I don’t have to tell you that they’re very popular.

  2. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I agree that the growth in Manga and Graphic Novels has added to the growth in YA. In fact, Borders now had all of the Manga and Graphic Novels right next to the Young Adult books to form one giant area.

  3. I have been reading YA books since my daughters started reading them and I must say that I have enjoyed them just as much as the other books I used to read. My daughters have turned me on to numerous authors that I would have never even started reading if not for them.

    I also found out that many ‘adult’ authors also write some pretty awesome YA books. An example of this is James Patterson. I have seen his novels on the shelves but never picked one up until my daughter recommended the Maximum Ride series.

    And Yes, if you ever go to Borders’ Manga and YA books section, you’ll probably find my kids sprawled in the aisles. lol!

  4. You are correct. More and more people are considering YA books worthy of reading no matter what their age is.

    Tony Peters
    Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping
    http://authortonypeters.blogspot.com/

  5. We miss book stores where we live, and hear little of what is new. After reading about “Hunger Games” on your blog, my kids and I checked it out online at Amazon, and are buying it.

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