Young Adult Lit's for Me

Happy Monday (well, Wednesday. I’m a little behind this week), everyone!

An interesting question was posed over at YALSA last week, and I want to spend the bulk of my musing space talking about it: Who Is Young Adult Literature For?

I’m going to argue that, while the protagonists of young adult literature are teenagers, young adult literature is for anyone who cares to read it. There’s a reason that my tagline is Like what you read. Read what you like. It took me some time to come to this, but I am unapologetically excited about young adult literature. And I read for myself now more than I read for my students. That was a huge step for me in my reading life, and it’s taken the pressure off. I don’t read as much, but I enjoy just about everything I read a whole lot more.

I teach 13-year-olds. Some of the content in some books designated YA I feel is not appropriate for this age group. And then I overhear the things they talk about. And then they tell me some of the things going on in their lives. And then conversation in the community is about what happened just across the border the weekend before. I think it’s hard to put an age limit on young adult literature.

I’ve had some similar experiences to the librarian who authored this article — how a recommendation (that I may not have thought was age-appropriate) really spoke to a kid. There is a connection forged in that successful recommendation that I can’t even describe.

I’ve also been lucky enough (or selective enough in my Internet reading buddies) that I’ve never been personally criticized for reading young adult literature. Hashtags like #bookaday and #titletalk have been invaluable places to find other readers and other teachers who celebrate young adult and middle grade literature in all its forms.

Yup. I got it good. And in other news…

The long list for the National Book Award’s Young People’s Literature category has been released. I’m excited to see Challenger Deep, X: A Novel and Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda on this list. I can’t tell you how many books on my TBR come from lists like this. So I’m adding The Bone Gap, which my local Youth Services librarian tried to get me to read not too long ago. And I’m adding Nimona because it’s from one of the creators of Lumberjanes, a comic book I love.

So over on Diversity in YA, Pat Schmatz talks about coming to the place required to write Lizard Radio. Yup, I’m still talking about it because I haven’t read it yet. (I did download it from the library; I have to read my book club book first.) I think this is my way of keeping it fresh in my mind.

Anything else interesting in the worlds of books, reading, and/or education that I should take a look at from last week?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which support the replacement of books in my students’ classroom library.


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