It seems every few weeks, someone says something misguided or general about the Young Adult section at the local library/bookstore. While I usually miss the inciting incident, I enjoy pouring myself a bowl of Rice Krispies and sliding into my front row seat on TweetDeck to watch the publishing industry retaliate.
Have I ever mentioned I love social media?
#YAShowdown was the more amusing hashtag, while #YASaves was more of an emotional outpouring, trumpeting the lessons and triumphs, the sights we saw, the scents we smelled, the roads we traveled when traversing some of our favorite stories considered: “Young Adult”.
I’m not a teen. I’m not a parent. I’m not a high school librarian.
So, why do I read YA?
No, I mean, it’s really good.
It’s well-written. There’s a story. The characters are compelling. The styles are diverse. It wants to take risks in the good way.
Life isn’t candy-coated, sugar-sweet, let’s all go to the prom and be happy.
Life is hard. It sucks. We weren’t born with an instruction manual. People make mistakes. Reality is tough and it doesn’t wait for you to be an adult to start throwing curveballs.
Why wait in literature?
My mother read A Wrinkle in Time to my siblings and I at the dinner table when I was a youngling.
My favorite section in the library was that little corner with the crusty sign above that said “TEEN” with half the “N” scratched off. I go to the library now and see their WHOLE ROOM dedicated to young adult literature, and there’s a prickle in my eyes as I try to imagine what it would have been like to have that many books way back when.
I love it. I love the voice. I love the stories. I love the characters.
I even love the covers.
So, that’s it. No great insights.
You either get YA or you don’t. Find something you like, nay, love, and tell everyone about it.
Because reading is awesome.