Predicting the Near Future of YA in Shelf Awareness

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Last summer I began to forge a theory about the what-next in young adult books.  In time the 2011 National Book Award finalists were named, the 2011 Best Of lists were put forward, and the new Printz and Newbery slates were unveiled.  Throughout it all, the theory held.  Today I am grateful to Shelf Awareness for sharing my thoughts in a story that begins like this:
For reasons both maddeningly obvious and impossibly elusive, young adult literature is particularly prone to categorization and trends--fenced in by labels, discriminated for or against, sold according to headline. Teeth sink. Wings ascend. Murderous games hold court. Landscapes are annihilated, and then annihilated again. It's a package deal.

Please read the whole here.  I'm interested in your thoughts, of course.  Where do you think the future lies?

8 comments:

Serena said...

I'm really pleased with the YA books that are winning awards. I wish I had those books when I was younger. I particularly would have loved the ones about global history

Melissa Sarno said...

I hope more books like the ones you highlight will continue to blur the lines (or erase them all together.) I don't like to make predictions. Not knowing is what makes it fun. :)

Katrina said...

Ah Beth, I love hearing this good news -- and you make me want to read these books! Thanks for looking at the big picture, and for analyzing it so eloquently.

Michael G-G said...

I enjoyed the entire piece, and sent it on to friends who are writing historical MG and wondering if there is a market for it. I think your analysis will inspire them.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Sarah Davies, agent, posted her wish list for what she'd like to see in her Inbox. Fascinating. She addresses this very thing, and says that she *rarely* gets what she wants. Here's a link: http://greenhouseliterary.com/index.php/site/comments/the_things_i_see_and_dont_see/

Liviania said...

Excellent piece. I think I love YA because it is ill-defined, despite the labels slapped on it. It's a place where the rare can be the standard.

And I would love to read books about vampires in dystopias. What do the vampires do when the humans are almost gone and those who remain are cautious and tough? It would be an awesome story, I know it.

Lilian Nattel said...

Fascinating and heartening--YA readers of interesting and varied books will become adult readers of same.

Wendy said...

Bravo for this piece, Beth...I am right with you. My favorite book OF ALL TIME was Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief - and here I am, a committed "adult" reader who up until that moment, had not read a YA book as an adult. I have mostly veered from YA fiction because I don't want to read about vampires, etc... It is authors like yourself, and the ones you mention in the article, which have encouraged me to delve into the YA genre and find precious gems tucked away there. I hope you are right, that this will be the new trend in YA literature.

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