My Books & Stories (Amazon Page)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

YA (Young Adult) Horror

Another post response over on AW references young adult (YA) horror and asks if it's still popular. My response follows,
YA is hot and it's going to stay hot for quite awhile I predict.

Harry Potter produced an entire generation of young readers who are still craving their next reading experience. Stephanie Meyers produced another generation I believe. These people are mostly still young, but they're going to grow up remembering those great old stories they used to read and they're going to want more.

Some of them are going to want to continue to read at the Harry Potter or Twilight level, but some of them will grow out of that (I'm not saying that's wrong - bear with me) and will eventually crave more adult and literate writing.

The estimated reading level of most of the population of the United States is approximately 6th grade. That's the comprehension level and the level at which major newspapers now aim for their articles (USA Today, for example, openly proclaimed that's where it was aiming a few years ago). So, yes, YA is going to remain popular.

YA does not aspire to literary writing. It doesn't need to. YA sells and it sells HOT. Even such big names as James Patterson are breaking into YA with novels because that's where the money is right now and where it's going to continue to be for some time to come.

YA sells because it entertains on a wide level and reaches a far wider audience than simply the youth of our culture. It reaches teens, young adolescents, and adults alike through its sheer ability to keep people entertained. Parents like to know what their kids are reading. Brothers and sisters like to know what their siblings are reading. Teachers need to know what their classrooms are interested in.

It's not a disease, it's an opportunity.

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