Young Adult fiction: carrying the torch for literature

I grew up in a house full of books. As a child my mother often bought me comic books for treats rather than chocolate, and I was quite happy with that.

However, it’s not always easy to keep the momentum of a reading child into his/her teen years. Books could be considered uncool, and even if you choose to go the ebook route, parents are concerned about what their children are reading.

In recent years a new genre has grown from obscurity to fill this gap. Young Adult (YA) fiction caters perfectly for this in-between stage of book lovers. Books deal with typical teenage problems in an age-appropriate way, using language familiar and comfortable to teens. And it’s not just for the younger generation. In fact, recent research findings show that the largest portion of these books are bought by people between the ages of 30 and  44, most of them don’t buy them as gifts.

With more and more “older” people reading teenage literature, one could question whether readers are becoming dumbed down. If one considers the volume of a single Harry Potter book, and the morality issues dealt with in that series, and more recently in The Hunger Games, it’s clear that this is not the case. It could actually encourage information-hungry youngsters to read more, not only in the YA category, but graduating to traditional fiction once they have developed a clear understanding of their preferences.

The quality of writing, variety in themes, and enormous choice of authors and titles in YA fiction, have successfully filled a gap to ensure that a greater community of bibliophiles continue to carry the flame for literary escapism.


  1. A.M.B.

    I agree that YA books are quite sophisticated, and as an adult, I have found some of them to be more thought-provoking than books aimed at women my age. For example, I thought Francisco X. Stork’s Marcelo in the Real World should be required reading in law school even though it features a teenage boy.

  2. Jeyna Grace

    So true. YA books are not just for YA these days.

  3. Syllable

    I love this genre and that it’s making reading more fun for teens and adults alike. I think it’s great that parents can enjoy the books their children read, and it provides a great opportunity for conversation and family time.

  4. silver account

    The importance of reading aloud cannot be overemphasized. By reading aloud to your children, you are emphasizing the joy of reading, introducing them to new vocabulary words and ideas, expanding their knowledge, and learning more about their interests. Often, hearing a story can pique a child’s interest in learning more by reading independently. At some point, you might pick books at, not above, your child’s reading level, and take turns reading portions aloud to one another. For more information about reading aloud and good books to read aloud, I recommend The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.


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