What Teen Books Do You Love??
It used to be that the only adults who read young adult literature were those who had a vested interest (eg teachers or librarians or parents who either needed or wanted to keep an eye on developing readers' tastes). But increasingly, adults are reading YA books with no ulterior motives. Attracted by well-written, fast-paced and engaging stories that span the gamut of genres and subjects, such readers have mainstreamed a niche long derided as just for kids.
"Even as the recession has dipped publishing in general, young adult has held strong," said David Levithan, editorial director and vice president of Scholastic, publisher of "The Hunger Games," as well as of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, the series largely credited with jump-starting this juggernaut of a trend.
"You go on a train and see 40-year-old executives reading Twilight," said Levithan, himself a YA author.
Often, word of mouth will bring a teen title to an adult's attention. Such was the case with the Twilight series, which has sold more than 85 million copies worldwide since the first book was published in 2005. Add the growing number of movies made from kids' books, such as "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," as well as all the successful adult authors -- James Patterson, Carl Hiaasen, Francine Prose and Terry Pratchett -- now writing for younger readers, and you've got a phenomenon that extends beyond the gatekeepers who want to know what their kids are getting into.
Many of today's YA authors were born and raised in the 1960s and 1970s, when YA began to move beyond the staid, emotionless tales of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in favour of more adventurous work from Judy Blume, Madeleine L'Engle and Robert Cormier. Now, they're turning out their own modern masterpieces.