Anna of Anna Reads wrote a great post about being an adult and loving young adult lit. I’m still young-ish (26… le sigh), so I don’t feel odd reading YA, but I know I won’t stop reading YA when I’m 36 or even 46. Why do you ask? It’s not because I loved my high school years and wish to go back. Ugh, certainly not. I don’t miss constantly wondering if he’s going to Subway with me because he actually likes me. I don’t miss snobby girls whispering and gossiping about me or others. I couldn’t wait to graduate and go to college, where I made some great friends and memories and met my husband. But really, why do I read YA lit?
My biggest reason for reading and loving YA lit is because I’m a high school English teacher. I remember the awkward moments, the mind-numbing chemistry classes, and crying to my mom about drama and boys. Teenagers haven’t changed, so they need these books. I wish I would have had them when I was in school. Books in this genre allow teens to know they aren’t alone in the world, there are others like them. Most YA novels have lessons to learn and allow teens to experience things from a safe distance.
I wish more adults would read YA lit. I wish even more that more teachers would take YA lit seriously. I mean, we’re talking about YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE. Young. Adult. Aren’t there young adults in high school? Hmm… I believe there are. So it would make sense to have these young adults read books about other young adults while they’re in high school. There are brilliant novels written by eloquent authors in this genre. Nothing against the classics- I enjoy many of them. But it’s no secret that most teens find them out-dated and boring. In my YA Lit class, I never have to ask my students to read. They ask ME if they can read. YA lit is engaging and current. Even better? The authors are alive and want to make contact with their readers. Hopefully more teachers will come around in the near future.
So, adults, why do you read YA?