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Sunday reading: The Kids’ Books Are All Right

August 8, 2010

The New York Times’ Sunday Book Review includes an essay by Pamela Paul on adults reading YA lit — check it out here. Some interesting quotes/points:

“A lot of adult literature is all art and no heart. […] But good Y.A. is like good television. There’s a freshness there; it’s engaging. Y.A. authors aren’t writing about middle-aged anomie or ­disappointed people.” — author and historian Amanda Foreman

• The percentage of female YA fans ages 25-44 has almost doubled in the last four years. — The Codex Group; Paul

• For almost 1 in 5 adults ages 35-44, YA books are their most frequent book-buys. — The Codex Group; Paul

“When you read these books as an adult, it tends to bring back the sense of newness and discovery that I tend not to get from adult fiction.” — Jesse Sheidlower, editor at the Oxford English Dictionary

The article captures what us lovers of kid/YAlit know well: that good children’s and young adult literature contains the same serious and universal themes, depth and development of character, and emotional involvement as adult literature — often with a heightened sense of discovery, wonder and adventure.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2010 3:19 pm

    The magic of a first experience [HP, Twilight] is something I love reading, but I can’t help but wonder if perhaps we’re simply more open to accepting these notions as adults when it’s geared for the younger population versus if it’s actually written for adults? Is there a possibility that when we reach for something “grown-up” we are automatically eschewing our sense of wonderment and discovery for that maturity we’re supposed to want/live?

    Interesting post! 🙂

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