In Defence of YA fiction

New York Times columnist Pamela Paul is tired of the snubbing that young adult (YA) fiction gets. She’s one of a number of Americans anticipating the release of Mockingjay, the final part of a dystopian trilogy aimed at teenagers despite Paul herself being “well into my 30s”.

Whether it’s Harry Potter, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe or Catcher in the Rye, YA books are everyone’s not-so-secret read. Paul claims that “nearly one in five 35- to 44-year-olds say they most frequently buy YA books” and there are ‘Kidlit book clubs" formed by adults both in the physical world and in Facebook including the Young Adult Literature Page.

And the appeal? According to Jesse Sheidlower, an editor at the Oxford English Dictionary and member of the Kidlit book club, YA books offer a newness missing in jaded adult fiction. She told Paul, “When you read these books as an adult, it tends to bring back the sense of newness and discovery that I tend not to get from adult fiction.”

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