Why (some) Teens Don't Read Young Adult Literature

Friday, January 25, 2013

In Miami, as a master writing teacher for the National Young Arts Foundation program, I had the opportunity to spend time with extraordinary young writers—but those of you who read this blog know that.  I had asked these very special teens, before we'd met, to tell me about the books that had changed their idea of story, on the one hand, and of language, on the other. When it became clear that few of these teens are spending time with books written for them, I asked more questions and listened intently.

"Why (some) Teens Don't Read Young Adult Literature," my essay now up on The Huffington Post, captures the essence of these conversations.  It also showcases a pretty spectacular and diverse reading list—one that sent me out to stores to buy the (few) books I was missing.

You can read the essay here.


Sarah Laurence said...

I've caught your insomnia, but your thought provoking article kept me company. There are book loving teens like my daughter who read both YA and adult literary fiction and appreciate both. There are also YA authors like you who write literary fiction with lyrical prose for teens, although I wish there were more. It encourages me to see Elizabeth Wein and John Green on the NYT YA bestseller list. Check out the adult fiction bestseller list: commercial fiction dominates, Shades of Gray etc.

Erin said...

I love this article, Beth.

Wendy said...

What a fabulous essay, Beth, which confirms what I already instinctively knew about teens - they DO think big, they care about a larger world, they seek answers to complex questions. I love the books they listed - diverse, challenging and the best literature has to offer. Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I read it and loved it, especially this: "We don't have to write small, we don't have to write same, we don't have to sacrifice the loveliness of language. We can write big; we must."

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