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Young Adult Treasures

March 11, 2010

Adult Harry Potter cover side by side with childrens cover

I have long thought that some of the best writing coming out recently has been in the Young Adult (or teenage) part of the library. It seems I am not the only one with many adults starting to read Young Adult books. The trouble is though it is getting increasing difficult to identify Young Adult books. For example in the in the article below it is mentioned that The Book Thief by Markus Zusak was written for the Young Adult. I didn’t know that, and our copies are in the Adult fiction collection. You will also find copies in both the Adult and Young Adult collections , like James Patterson’s Witch and Wizard, and they will often have different covers.

Young adult lit comes of age By Susan Carpenter [From the Los Angels Times]

Authors may gear their novels toward the junior and senior high crowd, but adults are snapping up the books, often about misfit teens or fantasy worlds.

It used to be that the only adults who read young adult literature were those who had a vested interest — 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.

Thanks to huge crossover hits like Stephenie Meyer’s bloodsucking “Twilight” saga, Suzanne Collins’ fight-to-the-death “The Hunger Games” trilogy, Rick Riordan’s “The Lightning Thief” and Markus Zusak’s Nazi-era “The Book Thief,” YA is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak publishing market. Where adult hardcover sales were down 17.8% for the first half of 2009 versus the same period in 2008, children’s/young adult hardcovers were up 30.7%.

“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.

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