Friday, December 19, 2008

The New Yorker

So, anyone not plugged into the world of Young Adult (YA) literature probably missed this article in the New Yorker:

I'll sum it up for you. It's a book review--a favorable review, actually--and discussion of Kathe Koja's Headlong. The discussion is set within the bigger question of What the YA Genre Is...and here lies the controversy. None of the panelists read YA or have ANY IDEA what the genre consists of, or who reads the books, or why they read the books. Here are some quotes to give you a little taste:

--'I still can’t imagine kids Lily’s age actually reaching for this book over “Tropic of Cancer.”'
--'I tend to think of young-adult fiction as sort of facile—a straightforward style, uncomplicated themes and morals.'
--'I assume that anything branded “young adult” needs to have a plotline that captures a teen’s attention, and also needs to be not too long or challenging.'

Let's forget my personal opinions on this matter for the moment...I don't think I need to state them at present. You know what I read. The point I want to make actually has nothing to do with the article itself, but rather the response to it. The YA community is one of the most tight-knit that I've ever encountered. I think this is because YA authors are particularly sensitive to (and dependent on) interaction with their audience--but they're also incredibly supportive of one another. This article got my hackles up because I feel like it's a personal offense to me, my YA-reading customers, and the authors whose lives I follow through their blogs.

1 comment:

Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

King Dork sounds like a great book!
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
Ch. 1 is online!