Ready to have your mind blown?
Let’s talk books. The chances are you have heaps and heaps of YA books on your bookshelves, right? I know I sure do. But how much do you really know about everyone’s favourite type of fiction? I recently wrote an essay about young-adult literature for an MA assignment and thought I’d share some of the facts I discovered about it.
Don’t worry guys, it won’t be filled with dreary academic language. ‘One’ cannot handle that on a Sunday. The facts are actually pretty interesting. They may even result in you buying your Gran a John Green book for Christmas. Bare with me on this one. Okay? Okay.
1. One of the first YA books is Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
Published in 1942, it’s widely accepted that Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly is one of the first young-adult books to kickstart the market we now know as YA. The book is a coming-of-age story, which is said to be about about love, loss and loads of summer adventures.
2. The YA section first emerged in bookstores in 2000
Prior to 2000, the YA section didn’t exist in many corporate bookstores. The likes of Borders and Barnes & Noble would stock their YA titles with children’s and middle-grade books.
3. YA books cover multiple genres
Most readers don’t see YA as a genre. In fact, if you call it a genre, there’s a strong chance that a dozen or so large hardbacks will be thrown in your direction. Typically, YA is seen as a section, sector or market – depending on who’s talking about them.
4. YA books can be poltical
YA books aren’t fluffy. Sure, there are plenty which feature romance stories that will give you all the feels, but some YA books can also be political. Take Harry Potter, for example. I know, I know – it’s not explicitly a YA book. But, it has affected the way that young-people view politics. YA author, Laura Steven, recently wrote an amazing article called Vote Dumbledore? How YA fiction could swing the next election. You can read it on iNews and it captures just how important YA is.
5. Your Grandma can enjoy YA
Crack out the books. Just don’t crack their spines. Everyone can enjoy YA – even your Grandma. Nielsen’s research highlights that 80% of YA readers are aged 25 or older. A recent article on The Guardian has also suggested that YA fiction is basically adult fiction in disguise. Do you read YA? Let me know in the comments below.