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Encyclopedia > Young adult literature

Young adult (YA) literature is literature written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) identifies young adults as ages 12-18. The boundaries between children's literature, adult literature, and YA literature are often flexible and loosely defined. Many YA novels a young adult protagonist. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), established in 1957, is a division of the American Library Association. ... Jane Frank: illustration from Thomas Yoseloffs The Further Adventures of Till Eulenspiegel (1957). ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... A protagonist is the main figure of a piece of literature or drama and has the main part or role. ...


Young adult fiction often deals with issues of adolescence, coming of age, and maturation into an adult. Occasionally the entire genre is categorized as problem novels, those books which focus on a child coping with an issue of concern to teens, or to society. Problem novels are a sub-genre of young adult literature that deal exclusively with an adolescents first confrontation with a social or personal ill. ...

Contents

History of YA

The first identification of young adults as a significant group was by Sarah Trimmer in 1802, who described "young adulthood" as lasting from ages 14 to 21. However, nineteenth century publishers didn't specifically market to young readers, and adolescent culture didn't exist in a modern sense. Nonetheless, there were certainly books published in the nineteenth century that were extremely popular to readers in the 14-21 age group, such as Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857) and Treasure Island (1883). Other examples of books that predate the classification of Young Adult, but are now frequently shelved in YA sections of libraries are The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, père. Sarah Trimmer (1741-1810), daughter of landscape artist John Kirby, was a noted writer and critic of childrens literature in the 18th century. ... --69. ... Gefen Publishing House, is dedicated to producing a broad range of quality titles relating to Judaism, Jewish thought, and Israel, including history, the Holocaust, art, childrens books, philosophy, science, biographies, and more. ... “Young Men” redirects here. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Cover of 1999 re-issue by Oxford Worlds Classics Tom Browns Schooldays, first published in 1857, is a novel by Thomas Hughes, set at a public school, Rugby School for Boys, in the 1830s when Hughes himself had been a student there. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of buccaneers and buried gold. First published as a book in 1883, it was originally serialised in the childrens magazine Young Folks between 1881-82 under the title The Sea Cook, or Treasure Island. ... Year 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Yearling is a 1938 novel written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. ... Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1953 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (August 8, 1896 – December 14, 1953) was an American author who lived in remote rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. ... The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. ... Alexandre Dumas, père, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie (July 24, 1802 – December 5, 1870) was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. ...


In the 1950's, shortly before the advent of modern publishing for the teen market, two books had substantial impact on adolescent readers: The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, and Lord of the Flies in 1954. Unlike more recent works classified as YA literature, these works were originally written with an adult audience in mind. [FitzGerald 2004, p. 62] The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J. D. Salinger. ... For other uses, see Lord of the Flies (disambiguation). ...


The modern classification of young adult as a genre originated during the 1950s and 1960s. As publishers increased their marketing to the emerging adolescent market, librarians began setting aside works which were expected to appeal to young adults, creating separate library sections distinct from either children's literature or books written for adults. Look up genre in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Jane Frank: illustration from Thomas Yoseloffs The Further Adventures of Till Eulenspiegel (1957). ... For the adult insect stage, see Imago. ...


Controversial Content

Young-adult fiction, from its very beginning, has been critiqued for its content. Controversy continues regarding sex, violence[1], and profanity [2] in young adult novels.


Teens were seen as confronting social problems inherent in adolescence, and books appeared which focused on controversial issues, particularly issues of sexuality. From Beverly Cleary's tame 1956 romance Fifteen, YA literature developed until there could be Judy Blume's controversial Forever (1975), about a teen's first sexual encounter and with teen pregnancy. This article is about human sexual perceptions. ... Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. ... Judy Blume (born February 12, 1938) is a popular American author. ... Forever. ...


As sexual mores have changed, so have the boundaries of YA literature: Forever gave way in 1982 to Annie on My Mind, about two high school girls who fall in love, which paved the way for the 2004 National Book Award finalist Luna, about a girl who has a transgendered brother. Not all YA books are about sex, of course, though many do deal with issues of personal or social upheaval such as drugs, gangs, illness, crime, violence, peer pressure, or divorce. As related by Cat Yampbell: Annie On My Mind is a 1982 novel by Nancy Garden, telling the story of two 17 year old New York City girls, Annie and Liza, who meet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and become friends and lovers. ... The National Book Awards is one of the most preeminent literary prizes in the United States. ... Luna is a young adult novel by Julie Anne Peters, first published in 2004. ...

Young Adult publishers are journeying into new and potentially dangerous subjects. One YA editor notes, "As more and more edgy fiction is being published, the books are dealing with issues that hadn't been dealt with before: oral sex, male rape, incest. There seem to be no boundaries any more" (qtd. in Milliot et al. 39). In 2004, bookstores were filled with YA books that addressed edgy subjects: Cynthia Voigt's When She Hollers (1994) and Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (rape) (1999); Sarah Dessen's Dreamland (2000) and Alex Flinn's Breathing Underwater (2001) (emotionally, mentally, and physically abusive relationships); Patricia McCormick's Cut (2001), Shelley Stoehr's Crosses (1991), and Alice Hoffman's Green Angel (2003) (self-mutilation); Margaret Bechard's Hanging on to Max (2002) and Angela Johnson's The First Part Last (2003) (teen fatherhood); and Linda Glovach's Beauty Queen (1998) (most of the aforementioned issues as well as teenage exotic dancing, threesomes, and heroin addiction). Amazon.com enables teens to find particular issue books by clicking on "Teen Books," then "Social Issues," which provides headings such as "Dating and Intimacy," "Drug Use and Abuse," "Pregnancy," "Suicide," and "Violence." A search box allows users to enter one's own issue. Young Adult Literature has broken nearly every boundary of acceptable subject matter in trying to address real-life problems and intrigue teen readers.
"Judging a Book by Its Cover:  Publishing Trends in Young Adult Literature," by Cat Yampbell, The Lion and the Unicorn; Sep 2005; 29:3; Children's Module, The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp348-372, at p350-351.

Oral sex consists of all sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, which may include use of the tongue, teeth, and throat, to stimulate genitalia. ... There are several types of rape, generally categorized by reference to the situation in which it occurs, the identity or chacteristics of the victim, and/or the identity or characteristics of the perpetrator. ... Incest is sexual activity between two persons related by close kinship. ... ÁCynthia Voigt (born February 25, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American author of childrens literature. ... Laurie Halse Anderson (born 1961) writes for children and young adults. ... Speak is a 1999 novel by Laurie Halse Anderson about a teenager named Melinda Sordino. ... Sarah Dessen, author Sarah Dessen is a American writer for young adults, living and teaching in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. ... Alice Hoffman, born March 16, 1952 in New York City, is an American author, best known for her novel Practical Magic. ... Amazon. ... The Johns Hopkins University Press is a publishing house and division of Johns Hopkins University that engages in academic publishing. ...

Trends

Graphic novels are especially popular with young adults and are being included in some public and school library collections. Graphic novel (sometimes abbreviated GN) is a term for a kind of book, usually telling an extended story with sequential art ( comics). ...


Diana Tixier Herald analyzed YA fiction genres in her book Teen Genreflecting (1997). She gives background on teen genre fiction and recommends specific authors and titles in dozens of categories, e.g. fantasy, mystery fiction, and romance novels. Some of the more unexpected subcategories are cyberpunk, splatterpunk, techno-thrillers, problem novels, and contemporary Christian fiction. Smaug in his lair: an illustration for the fantasy The Hobbit Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting. ... Mystery fiction is a distinct subgenre of detective fiction that entails the occurrence of an unknown event which requires the protagonist to make known (or solve). ... A romance novel is a novel from the genre currently known as romance. ... Berlins Sony Center reflects the global reach of a Japanese corporation. ... Splatterpunk is a neologism coined to describe a subgenre of horror fiction distinguished by its graphic depiction of violence. ... Techno-thrillers are a hybrid genre, drawing subject matter generally from spy thrillers, war novels, and science fiction. ... Problem novels are a sub-genre of young adult literature that deal exclusively with an adolescents first confrontation with a social or personal ill. ... Christian literature is writing that deals Christian themes and incorporates the Christian worldview. ...


Critics

In recent years, YA literature has been increasingly treated as an object of serious study by children's literature critics. Childrens literature criticism comprises both generalist discussions of the relationship between childrens literature and literary theory as well as an literary analysis of a specific work or works of childrens literature. ...


Publishing market

The blooming of YA literature in the U.S. in the late 1960s may be attributed, at least in part, to the availability of Title II funds for school libraries under the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Educational Act. However, these funds diminished to a trickle in the 1980s; since then, YA literature in the U.S. has been mostly market-driven. [FitzGerald 2004, p. 66-67] This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


At present about 400 titles a year are published by major U.S. publishers that are considered to fall under the heading of YA literature. [FitzGerald 2004, p. 63] Well-known pioneers of YA fiction as a distinct category include Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton. Well-known authors of fiction for adults who have written at least one work for this genre include Michael Chabon (Summerland), Joyce Carol Oates (Big Mouth & Ugly Girl), and Francine Prose (After). Judy Blume (born February 12, 1938) is a popular American author. ... Susan Eloise Hinton (born on July 22, 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American author who wrote five young adult novels in the 1960s and 70s. ... Michael Chabon (born May 24, 1963) is an American author and one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American author and the Roger S. Berlind 52 Professor in the Humanities with the Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University, where she has taught since 1978 ([1]). She serves as associate editor for the Ontario Review, a literary magazine, and... Big Mouth and Ugly Girl is Joyce Carol Oates first young adult novel. ... Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. ... After is a young adult book written by Francine Prose. ...


Awards

Michael L. Printz Award. Since 1930, the ALA has put out an annual list of Best Books for Young Adults, which is created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA. YALSA also annually gives the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. ...


Margaret A. Edwards Award. Each year YALSA and School Library Journal also recognize an author for his/her lifetime contributions to popular young adult literature with the Margaret A. Edwards Award. Past winners are S.E. Hinton (1988; no award 1989), Richard Peck (1990), Robert Cormier (1991), Lois Duncan (1992), M.E. Kerr (1993), Walter Dean Myers (1994), Cynthia Voigt (1995), Judy Blume (1996), Gary Paulsen (1997), Madeleine L'Engle (1998), Anne McCaffrey (1999), Chris Crutcher (2000), Robert Lipsyte (2001), Paul Zindel (2002), Nancy Garden (2003), Ursula K. Le Guin (2004), Francesca Lia Block (2005), Jacqueline Woodson (2006) and Lois Lowry, 2007. School Library Journal is a monthly publication with articles and reviews for school and public librarians who work with young people. ... Susan Eloise Hinton (born on July 22, 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American author who wrote five young adult novels in the 1960s and 70s. ... Richard Peck (b. ... Robert Cormier Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925 – November 2, 2000) was an American author for young adults. ... Lois Duncan, American writer and novelist, was born Lois Steinmetz silly puddy is a yummy treat ehhheeheheApril 28, 1934 in Philadelphia. ... M. E. Kerr (pen name of Marijane Meaker, born May 27, 1927), is an American author, primarily of young adult fiction. ... Walter Dean Myers (born Walter Myers August 12, 1937, Martinsburg, West Virginia, raised in Harlem) is an African American author of young adult literature. ... ÁCynthia Voigt (born February 25, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American author of childrens literature. ... Judy Blume (born February 12, 1938) is a popular American author. ... Gary Paulsen is an American writer, who writes many young adult coming of age stories about the wilderness. ... Madeleine LEngle (born November 29, 1918) is an American writer best known for her childrens books, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. ... Anne Inez McCaffrey (born April 1, 1926) is an American science fiction author best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series. ... Chris Crutcher is a contemporary American fiction writer and a family therapist. ... Robert Lipsyte is an American sports journalist and author. ... Paul Zindel (May 15, 1936–March 27, 2003) was an American author and playwright. ... Nancy Garden (born May 15, 1938 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American author best known for Annie on My Mind, which was critically acclaimed but attracted controversy because of its homosexual characters. ... Ursula Kroeber Le Guin [ˌɜɹsələ ˌkɹobɜɹ ləˈgWɪn] (born October 21, 1929) is an American author. ... Francesca Lia Block (born January 3, 1962 in Los Angeles, California) is the author of many highly original young adult books, most famously the Weetzie Bat series. ... Jacqueline Woodson (born February 12, 1963 in Columbus, Ohio) is an American author who writes books targeted at children and adolescents. ... Lois Lowry (born March 20, 1937) is an author of childrens literature who has been awarded the Newbery Medal twice: first for Number the Stars in 1990, and again in 1994 for The Giver, her most famous and controversial work. ...


The William C. Morris YA Debut Award will be given annually to a previously unpublished author “who has made a strong literary debut in writing for young adult readers,” beginning in January 2009. [3]


References

  • Eccleshare, Julia [1996]. "Teenage Fiction: Realism, romances, contemporary problem novels", in Peter Hunt, ed.: International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature. London: Routledge, 387-396. 
  • Egoff, Sheila [1980]. "The Problem Novel", in Shiela Egoff, ed.: Only Connect: readings on children's literature, 2nd, Ontario: Oxford University Press, 356-369. 
  • Frances FitzGerald, "The Influence of Anxiety" in Harper's, September 2004, p. 62-70
  • Nilsen, Alleen Pace (April 1994). "That Was Then ... This Is Now". School Library Journal 40 (4): 62-70. 
  • Michael L. Printz Award
  • Margaret A. Edwards Award
  • Diana Tixier Herald. (2003) Teen Genreflecting. 2nd ed. Wesport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

An issue of Harpers Magazine from 1905 Another issue, from November 2004 Harpers Magazine (or simply Harpers) is a monthly magazine of politics and culture. ...

Other publications

  • Authors and Artists for Young Adults, serial publication (Gale, 1989+) with bio-bibliographies of novelists, poets, dramatists, filmmakers, cartoonists, painters, architects, and photographers which appeal to teenagers. Entries typically are six to twelve pages in length, have a black & white photo of the author/artist and other illustrations. Recent volumes include a sidebar recommending similar books/works the reader might like also.
  • Best Books for Young Adults, 2nd ed. by YALSA, edited by Betty Carter.
  • Books for the Teen Age, annual book list selected by teens for teens, sponsored by the New York Public Library [4]
  • Outstanding Books for the College Bound, put out by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), professional organization for librarians serving teens in either public libraries or school library/media centers; a division of ALA. [5]

External links

  • "Cuss, Curse, OR Clean It Up: How much, if any, Profanity to Use in Young-Adult Fiction", by Mike Klaassen, Helium.com, 3 Mar 2007
  • "Violence in Young-Adult Fiction: Acceptable, Beneficial, or Inexcusable?" , by Mike Klaassen, Helium.com, 21 May 2007
  • "Teen Books Move Up to the Top Shelf" by Michelle S. Keller, Chicago Tribune, 20 Apr 2007.
  • "Young Adult Fiction: Wild Things," by Naomi Wolf, The New York Times, 12 Mar 2006.

Naomi Wolf (born 1962) is an American writer. ...

See also

Young Adult Literature Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Young adult literature (3623 words)
The boundaries between children's literature, adult literature, and YA literature are often flexible and loosely defined.
The first identification of young adults as a group that needed to be addressed and taught was by Sarah Trimmer in 1802, who described "young adulthood" as lasting from ages 14 to 21.
Young adult literature is often thought of as a great abyss between the wonderfully exciting and engaging materials for children and those for adults--just as young adults are often ignored in planning library facilities and services.
Vandergrift's Special Interest Page (1169 words)
Many who teach children's literature dismiss this work as being that of those who have little sense of the child for whom the literature was created and even less for the practical problems of bringing that child and the literature together.
What teachers need is a continuing dialogue grounded in the theory and research of both literature and teaching that is focused on the particular problems of the field of children's literature.
Literature is, first of all, to be experienced, to be enjoyed, to be appreciated, to be loved.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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