A few links to articles that I came across this week on the blogosphere!
How Young Adult Fiction Came of Age
Excerpt: I am familiar enough with the basics: that YA is not to the written word as PG is to film. That it is publishing's closest thing to a safe bet in years. That it has seen explosive growth as a result. To wit: 3,000 young adult novels were published in 1997. Twelve years later, that figure hit 30,000 titles--an increase of a full order of magnitude. In 2009, total sales exceeded $3 billion, which is roughly all the money.
YA Books are Booming--but not That Much
Excerpt: Before I tell you what the correct figures are, how I think Mr. Grady got those numbers wrong, and why that matters, I do want to say that the article as a whole is a solid piece of work. Unlike the infamous Wall Street Journal article that complained about YA literature being too dark (I won't link to it, but you can find it if you search), Mr. Grady clearly likes YA books, and develops some good points: that adults are reading YA, for various reasons; that "New Adult" is what some in publishing hope to establish as a next step after YA; and that the commercial/literary divide may be shrinking.
"She's Not a Strong Reader"
Excerpt: She resisted help at first. But after two failed attempts to get the book she wanted, she finally let me help her. I got her a wonderful stack of Libba Bray and Sarah Dessen and left her alone, only to have her mother announce to me, “She’s not a strong reader.” As if that explained why her daughter was taking her time to choose the right book.
Where Children Sleep (from the New York Times)
Excerpt: As he considered how to represent needy children around the world, he wanted to avoid the common devices: pleading eyes, toothless smiles. When he visualized his own childhood, he realized that his bedroom said a lot about what sort of life he led. So he set out to find others.
Your Mom Reads More YA Than You
Excerpt: What struck me about the WSJ debate was not whether or not YA veers into a damaging darkness; rather, it was the allegation that mothers are unaware of, or disapprove of, the current YA offerings. It was striking to me because, in my own experience promoting a YA novel, mothers have been some of the most ardent and vocal harbingers of what’s new and what’s next in the genre.