Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is Young Adult Reading Off-Limits?

See print
I've been debating what age group my writing should target.  On the one hand, I want to explore themes that may be beyond young adult interests, but on the other hand, I'm not sure my writing style is sophisticated enough for "adults."

I have to add those quotations, and even as I write this I'm laughing inwardly at myself and the stigma I attach to that word.

When I think of "adult" writing, for some reason I always picture the Tom Clancy section at the bookstore or the Nora Roberts selections at airports.  I think to myself, I could never write like that!  The really funny thing is I've never read either of those authors, but somehow I'm certain they define the "adult" writing I'm thinking of.

I'm being silly, of course.

See print
At age 28, I still enjoy Harry Potter and want to investigate series like The Mysterious Benedict Society at my library.  This kind of writing is fun to read and wonderful to create.  Who wouldn't want to escape the world of politics and grocery shopping for a magical realm that measures characters' worth not by their paycheck or looks, but by their courage?  This world shouldn't be closed to us when we leave adolescence!

Maybe I've answered my own question about my writing, or maybe I've created many more questions instead.  Am I the only one who thinks this way?  Does anyone else enjoy Madeleine L'Engle's Time quartet more with each passing year?  Who else besides me keeps books beloved at age eleven and explores them almost twenty years later, relishing their simple themes and subtle depth?

Maybe there should be a new genre--Young Adult Meant for Adults! 

We'll work on the name.  In the meantime, I guess there's no reason my writing can't be a little of both.

If you're an avid reader visiting this blog, post your favorite Young Adult books below!


  1. UnknownOctober 12, 2012 7:10 PM

    My favorite young adult book is The Giver by Lois Lowry. I've read it about 10 times and each time I find different connections or have new insights. That's what a good writer should do regardless of their target group. Interesting topic...

    I saw this posted on an earlier blog entry by mistake. Thanks to whoever commented!

  2. The Giver is staggering. Each year that passes shows how plausible that world is. I sought it out at a used bookstore along with some Madeleine L'Engle books. Although her Time quartet is my favorite, each book she writes manages to blend the mundane and the awesome, the secular and the spiritual, in a new way each time.