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A Collection of Tweets on the Discussion of YA Books Set in College/Post High School

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Over the past few days, there has been an ongoing discussion on Twitter about the need for YA books that highlight the post high school life and whether or not they should be marketed as YA. I tweeted a lot about it and have compiled those tweets below. I am also working on putting together a round table post from various perspectives to talk more about this issue.


A Discussion of YA Books Set in College



  1. @byobrooks This is where how we brand books get messy. Are adult YA readers (actual adults) or teen YA readers asking for YA books set in college? How do we define YA? Who is the target audience? And then, where do we put the 20 years olds, actual YAs btw


  2. @byobrooks Though the ship has long sailed, YA should have never been called YA. It should have been teen fiction. New Adult is a great place for college stories, but hasn't taken off in the ways that it looked like it might when it first cam into vogue.


  3. @dani_reviews @byobrooks From a library point of view. however, the problem is we have Pic Bks, J (MG), YA and then everything else is usually just fiction, though some libraries break them down by genre. So any contemp adult fic is just adult fic - ages 19-100+. Can be overwhelming. Thats were RA needed


  4. @byobrooks @dani_reviews I will say from a public library standpoint, we would have a hard time putting college set YA in a YA collection. We do get content complaints and it's easier to defend when set in MS or HS. Parents will read college as adult.


  5. @byobrooks @dani_reviews Now this is an interesting conversation because book stores are different than school and public libraries. Libs still get a lot of pushback about where things are shelves and how they are labelled/marketed in ways that stores don't.


  6. @byobrooks @dani_reviews I think this is also being driven by the dynamic of adult YA readers vs. teen YA readers. This dynamic is very challenging for libraries because of parental and community concerns.


  7. @byobrooks @dani_reviews I think it's a multi-faceted issue and should be discussed from all angles, for sure. I can only speak from a public library perspective.


  8. @byobrooks @dani_reviews Also, local community dynamics play a large part in all this as well. Larger, more progressive communities & their libraries will be able to adapt more quickly than smaller, rural ones. It can be challenging.


  9. @NerdyPam @byobrooks @cupcakeandy They definitely read ahead and are welcome to check out anything in the library. However, that's different then shelving and marketing adult books to teens as opposed to just having them available, when talking to concerned parents.


  10. @dancingofpens And I'm speaking from a public library stand point which is diff from a reader/writer/publisher/marketing/book store/school library perspective. It's all different.


  11. @byobrooks @dancingofpens Not just college either. What about getting first job, staying home but going to community college and working, etc. There's more than one route after HS and they should all be reflected. Focus on college reflect privilege in this discussion maybe?


  12. I do think true Young Adults, people just out of HS and in their early 20s, are underserved in so many ways in our world, including publishing and libraries.


  13. Problem 1: Who is Ya written for?
    Problem 2: Are adult readers of YA over influencing what's driving YA trends?
    Problem 3: How do we address the needs of teens? How do we address the needs of true young adults? In publishing? In libraries?
    1/?


  14. Problem 4: Recognizing that Public and school libraries very much deal with parental rights and expectations, how do we promote/shelve, etc books that technically are adult (MCs over 18 are adults) to a teen audience? How do we label,


  15. market, shelve, etc. these books to balance real life tension of parental concerns about teens reading adult content?


  16. Problem 5: Do teens sometimes read up? They always have and they always will. But just because a teen reads Stephen King doesn't make it a YA book.
    Problem 6: Are we letting adults readers of YA over influence the YA market?


  17. Problem 7: We use the wrong terminology for these age categories. YAs have never been young adults, legally or in development. They are teenagers. They deserve to be served, understood, & valued. We are the only industry that calls them young adults.


  18. The term YA is and always has been problematic for this very reason. Even book stores now call it teen fiction in their signage, as do I in my library. When I say YA to my not in the online book community readers, they draw a blank.


  19. Please note: I have no problem with adults reading YA. Everyone should read what they want. I just want us having these discussions to make sure that teens don't get pushed out of YA because they need it.


  20. Should there be books written about and marketed to early/young/new adults and things like college, moving out, etc? Yes, definitely, we need all kinds of stories for all kinds of ages. Do they need to be labeled and marketed as YA? Maybe not.


  21. Yes, middle school readers are often in limbo here as well. YA has gotten older (again I would argue due to adult Reader influence) and MG is often too young, so what about our middle schoolers?  https://twitter.com/marimancusi/status/954701521387769856 …


  22. Yes, this issue could probably be solved if we embraced New Adult as an age category and made it broader than just erotica.


  23. Interestingly enough, we now know that the brain doesn't start really developing into an "adult" brain until around ages 24 or 25 thanks to brain science. But there are legal and real world difference between a 16 year old and a 21 year old.


  24. I can tell you as a YA librarian that I have never gotten asked by a teen about YA set in college but I frequently get asked for younger/less mature YA titles. So there's that.


  25. Yes because simply "adult" is too broad a category. New adults want to read different types of stories then adults in their 30s and 40s then adults in their 60s etc. Adult isn't a stagnant development either and is way too broad. But we do it.  https://twitter.com/zachjpayne/status/954705756502151168 …


  26. Bottom Line: For a lot of libraries, if you put a book with an adult MC in a collection for and about teens, you will be on the nightly news and no library likes bad PR. The expectations for libraries are very different than a store/personal reader.


  27. Some publishers/authors/adult readers skew to the adult interests, because it broadens their audience which equals more $$$ Teens, parents, teachers & teen/ya librarians skew to the teen audience, because that is who they serve/are emotionally invested in https://t.co/Xc611tVxNY

    Some publishers/authors/adult readers skew to the adult interests, because it broadens their audience which equals more $$$

    Teens, parents, teachers & teen/ya librarians skew to the teen audience, because that is who they serve/are emotionally invested in pic.twitter.com/Xc611tVxNY



  28. Also, teen readers not heavily involved in the online book community tend to call it teen fiction. Most people go, "but they're not adults" when you call it YA. B&N has Teen Fiction shelves. Many libraries call it Teen. YA was never the right term.


  29. In an ideal library, you would have pic books flow to beginning readers flow to chap books flow to middle grade flows to twee fic flow to teen fic flow to true YA/NA flow to adult flow to later life fic. There are no ideal libs. We work w/what we have.


  30. @charlotteapaige I would not be able to and I would not be able to defend that choice. I buy them and put them in adult. Any patron can read them. But I can not market a book with an adult protagonist in my Teen/YA collection or define it as such.


  31. So from a librarian perspective, yes write and pub your post HS stories. Definitely. Just know that a lot of libraries will not be able to put/market a book with an adult protagonist as Teen/YA. It will often be shelved as adult. Teens will still read it.


  32. Libraries are diff than book stores and have a different accountability because they are tax supported public entities that have to answer to their patrons in ways that are different then a for profit business does. This disctinction matters in policies.

 

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