This was a guest post I did for Shah @ Wordsinsync while she was a on trip to the UK. I hope you had fun, Shah!
This was the topic of discussion around the proverbial table a few weeks ago on a WEbook.com forum I was participating in and the discussion got pretty lively and interesting. So, I thought I would bring it here to Shah's lovely blog.
So, how old (or young) should you be to read young adult novels. According to publishing companies, they aim for 14 to 21 year-olds. However, my cousin started reading young adult at 12 and a friend of my mother's has a 10 year old that brings home novels from this section of the school library because she wants to read more advanced books (plus, she thinks it is cool to read a big book.) But are they too young? Many young adult novels deal with such horrors as death, rape, the end of the world, adultery, murder, genocide, etc. Are 10 and 12 year-olds able to face that? Should they be protected from it? Should parents be reading it with them? (If any of you know me, you probably know that I advocate for family reading and that parents should be reading almost everything their children are reading so that they may explain difficult concepts!) Then again, some young adult focus on story lines such as friendship, loyalty to the ones you love, the outsider, difficulties at school, divorce, love as the most powerful force on Earth, strength, and courage. These are things young people can relate to and themes they can look up to. So, do we draw the line?
Now, on a lighter note, how young should you be to read young adult novels. I am 23 and I LOVE young adult. I race to the young adult shelves when stepping into a bookstore and rarely do I venture out unless looking for something specific. In the WEbook discussion, there were also several middle aged people and even a 65 and 73 year old that still confess to reading young adult. Should they (and myself) move on?
Now, it's your turn! Note some of the questions above. How would you answer them?
What do you read? Are you already reading young adult? Are you still reading young adult?