Friday, December 4, 2009

Pushing the Boundary, yet again.

Since Stitches by David Small won a National Book Award Nomination, everyone has been talking again about just what makes a teen book for teens.

When figuring out whether a book should be in the YA or adult section, our collection development librarians (the folks who order books all day-- sounds pretty nice to me) consider a lot of factors.
How old are the characters?
Is the main character looking back at his life now that he's grown up?
Is the book being marketed to teens?
Is the language and pacing going to be interesting for teens?
What do the reviews say?
What do the awards committees say?
Is the content more appropriate for an adult audience?
As you can see, it's all pretty subjective. One person's older YA book may end up a best seller for adults (look at Twilight) and another person's Adult book may be end up being very popular with older teenagers (Push by Sapphire for instance).

So, do you browse adult shelves for your newest picks, or do you tend to be more interested in the YA shelves? Or do you check both to make sure that you're getting the best of both worlds?

There is an entire category of award dedicated to this cross-over hit phenomenon. The Alex Award is given annually to adult books with teen appeal. If this sounds like your cup of tea, here are some winners from last year.

City of Thieves

The Dragons of Babel

Finding Nouf

The Good Thief

Just After Sunset: Stories


Over and Under

The Oxford Project

Sharp Teeth

Three Girls and Their Brother

1 comment:

Mairead said...

I go for the YA books, but mostly the ones that have some kind of witty humor to it (John Green anyone ?). I only go to the adult section if I have a specific book I want to read. Browsing is definitely done in the YA sections though.