Saturday, April 18, 2015

I don't think I know what YA is

A couple weeks ago I posted what has become one of my most popular discussions to date: YA Shaming. What I discovered is that this is not just an issue at my university. There are readers around the world and spanning age groups who feel embarrassed because of their enjoyment of YA books.

This week I came across a couple Young Adult book lists on that really surprised me. They surprised me because I'm really not sure what YA is after reading them. Now I really think one of the reasons readers of YA feel embarrassed is because people think we must be stupid (or at least stuck at an elementary school reading level).

Let's take a look at some of the selections on TIME's list of 100 Best Young-Adult Books...


Maybe, like me, you're thinking that this must be a combo list of Young Adult AND Children's books. Well, you'd be wrong. Here is TIME's list of 100 best Children's books. I'm honestly not sure who was responsible for compiling this top 100 list, but it's a little disconcerting. I feel like lists like this is why YA and its readers get a bad rap. 

You know, maybe I'm totally off base. Maybe "Young Adult" doesn't mean what I -think- it means. But I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the subject. Isn't this why there are separate categories for "children," "middle grade," and "young adults," for example? 

But then I came across another list that confused me even more. This time 17 famous YA authors were asked what their favorite YA book was and the answers were, again, not what I thought they'd be. Some of them include: 


Am I to assume that these authors of YA fiction really think picture books fit into the Young Adult category? I don't know what is going on with these TIME Magazine articles. 

Maybe I just don't know what YA actually is.