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Are young adult novels worth reading? Show more Show less
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Coined in the 1960s, young adult fiction was originally marketed at 12-18-year-olds to fill the gap between children's literature and adult literature. However, over half of young adult readers are actually adults. Should adults be embarrassed to read young adult novels, or are they worth reading?

Yes, young adult novels are worth reading Show more Show less

Young adult novels provide a safe space for adolescents to learn about the world they live in as they transition from childhood to adulthood. But the appeal doesn't end there. Some adult readers find escapism and nostalgia in young adult novels. While others find hidden meanings about the adult world in their pages. They deserve to be read.
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Young adult novels have a popular child-adult appeal

A recent study found that 80% of young adult novels are bought by adults. Crossover fiction is a way for adults to bond with children. Yet many adults also find escapism or hidden meaning in young adult novels. Young adult novels speak to everyone.

The Argument

A 2015 study revealed that 80% of young adult novels are bought by adults.[1] It is logical to assume some adults are buying young adult novels for children. Adults like to read what their children are reading. It allows them to check that the story is appropriate and is a way of bonding with their child over their reading habits.[2] But many adults genuinely enjoy reading young adult novels regardless of who their intended audience is. Young adult events like book signings and author talks draw in many attendees over the age of 18. Also, adults love to blog about and review young adult novels they are passionate about.[3] In light of this, incredibly successful young adult stories like Harry Potter have been marketed at children and adults separately through their cover designs.[4] For some adult fans of young adult novels, there's a real thrill from enthusiastic storytelling that reminds them of being young. The themes explored are page-turning rollercoasters of emotions.[5] For others, young adult novels often have hidden meanings that reflect the dysfunctions of society and adult life. Sci-fi young adult novels like The Hunger Games explores an adult world of political and economic repression. Similarly, Divergent looks at an adult world that demands conformity and stifles individual expression.[6] Young adult novels speak to everyone.

Counter arguments

Adults should be embarrassed to read fiction created for children. Young adult novels like Divergent and Twilight should not be considered real literature. Young adult novels are unsophisticated and indulge in simplistic, neat endings that teenagers may enjoy, but adults should reject.[7] Some critics feel many young adult novels feature lazy storytelling, condescending writing and have become predictable with their imitated concepts.[8] These arguments believe young adult novels underestimate the intelligence of their teenage readers and, by that logic, may not have much to offer adult readers.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/68083-nielsen-summit-shows-the-data-behind-the-children-s-book-boom.html
  2. https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/why-are-adults-reading-ya-books/
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/feb/24/why-are-so-many-adults-reading-ya-teen-fiction
  4. https://theboar.org/2013/07/harry-potter-adult-cover-childrens-book/
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/books/shortcuts/2015/sep/22/never-too-old-to-read-young-adult-fiction-books
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/sep/19/young-adult-fiction-speaks-to-all
  7. https://slate.com/culture/2014/06/against-ya-adults-should-be-embarrassed-to-read-childrens-books.html
  8. https://studybreaks.com/culture/the-problems-with-young-adult-literature/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020 at 02:39 UTC

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