Talk:Young adult fiction

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Just started page[edit]

I just started on this page, and didn't have much time today. If anyone would like to help I'm more than willing to accept. I'd like to have a timeline of some of the more important influences from the beginning of the YA lit genre and some of the main writers who have come out of it, such as Robert Heinlein and Judy Blume. I'd also like to start a list of books, or at least authors with links to outside sources to where the books can be found or at least summaries.--Steeley42 20:55, Aug 11, 2004 (UTC)

I added several authors and titles to the list, some classsics and some newbies. Please comment and revise. Also added some publications & the M.A.Edwards award. KTM 15:04, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Added genre fiction section, citing D T Herald, more authors, minor editing. KTM 18:54, 5 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I'll work on the content some, but should there really be this massive list? Shouldn't there be a list of historical turning point / extremely controversial authors? I feel like a comprehensive list should be split out, ala List of children's literature authors (or merged with that list, given the fuzzy borderline), but the utility of this page is limited if it contains a massive collection of authors. I'd like to see more of a timline (Annie on my Mind and I Hadn't Meant to Tell you This; Are you There, God?; Monster) -- books that might have changed the way we think about YA lit. Deborah-jl 18:24, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Added BAA external link, and I recommend reviewing this [http // list of honored authors] to see which YA authors are influencing this genre. KennyLucius 18:16, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I think this article is excellent. I would be a good idea to separate the list on its own page. -Acjelen 20:13, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have made several changes to the "Mid-Century" tag under "History," primarily to address ambiguities, poor or misleading phrasing, and gaps in information. In the first paragraph, I changed "advent of modern publishing for the teen romance market" to "advent of modern young-adult publishing surrounding the teen romance market" because the original seemed to suggest that modern publishing as a whole rose up around the teen romance market and it needlessly separates "teen romance" from YA, even though teen romance falls under the category of YA. Other changes I made in this paragraph were to add "influential" between "two novels," since it seems off-base to imply that these were the only two novels that drew in adolescent readers and the original didn't make clear that they were especially important. I also added that the novels "were not initially marketed to adolescents," unlike later YA, as I thought it would be worthwhile to emphasize that neither the writers nor the publishers intended for these novels to be YA.

In the second paragraph, I put the publication date of The Outsiders in parenthesis as was done for the previous two novels mentioned. I also did more extensive rewording of the next several sentences to aid clarity and flow of information, and to avoid making broad definitive statements such as "it displayed a truer, darker side of adolescent life because it was written by a young adult." Instead, I included the more specific information that The Outsiders was written by Hinton during high school and published when she was only 17. I cited this information as well as information about Hinton's broader importance in YA history as author of one of the best-selling YA novels of all time and one of the founders of the genre. (talk) 04:47, 5 November 2014 (UTC)


Per agreement, I've removed the list to its own page. Personally, I'd like to get rid of both list of young adult authors and list of children's literature authors; there's a fuzzy border between them and it seems to me that the list could be much better maintained with categories. Comments? Deborah-jl 15:26, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Categories only work in areas where each item has an article. This is appropriate use of a list. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:02, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
True. Thanks for helping me rethink my fundamental problem with this list, is that there's no criteria for inclusion. It's not bestsellers, or notable enough to get wikipedia articles and therefore category entries, or award winning, or by authors with red hair... it's just a list of books people think of. Can we come up with some meaningful criteria such that -- in theory -- the list could be complete without having entries for every YA book ever published? Deborah-jl Talk 06:15, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
We could certainly come up with several distinct criteria for inclusion: winning certain awards, common inclusion in the school curriculum for certain years. So far, this article is very U.S.-centric. It would be interesting to find equivalents for other countries and languages. - Jmabel | Talk 03:35, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Definitely! I wish I knew more about non-historical YA lit outside of the US and Britain, but I might be able to recruit people to get more information. Deborah-jl Talk 00:56, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

I just popped in and found your list of young adult literature authors. Personally, I find it very useful to have these authors listed separately. As a librarian in a brand-new intermediate school (6th and 7th grades), I find it very useful to have so I can not only research what books to get, but also in building a page on our website where kids can look up their favorite authors. This helps me tremendously in putting this page together. Young adult literature is most often lumped together with children's literature (which of course includes picture books), and separating them out is a big task. --SharonW
-- 14:16, 8 October 2006‎ SharonW


Is there any interest here in a WikiProject for the family of articles comprising children's and young adult literature coverage? I've made a proposal for a WikiProject, and I encourage people to view my proposal, edit it if they like, and sign up. It would be great to put an organised effort into rethinking these pages.


Deborah-jl Talk 06:15, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


Please see my post at Talk:Children's_literature#Globalization for reasons for this tag, as well as suggestions about which works to add to solve this problem.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:37, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Juvenile vs YA[edit]

I added a mention of the word "Juvenile fiction". This term is mostly obsolete, but a lot of the YA fiction from the mid-century was published under this category name (most particularly the Scribner's juvenile line, I believe). There is a subtle difference between the old "juvenile" category and today's YA-- juveniles most notably did not deal with "adult" themes--and with some time it would be useful to discuss this, but in fact the categories today are so overlapping that the novels published as juvenile fifty years ago now fit seamlessly into the YA category today. Actually, the term isn't that obsolete, in that it's still being used at Random House and elsewhere

Geoffrey.landis 18:45, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

2012, six years later.
1. Many libraries have Juvenile classification. I wonder how recently any new library has adopted the class.
2. The Mid-Continent Public Library (Kansas City, U.S.) provides a "Juvenile Series and Sequels" database that uses both J and YA distinctly:
  • Juvenile Easy [JE], up to school grade two (ages up to 8 years)
  • Juvenile [J], school grades two to six (ages about 7 to 12 years)
  • Young Adult [YA], school grades six and up (ages about 11 to 18 years)
For instance, Narnia is J; Harry Potter crosses from J to YA; His Dark Materials is YA. --P64 (talk) 01:00, 4 October 2012 (UTC)


This page was recently vandelised, probably best if an eye is kept on it! (Million Moments 19:42, 15 February 2007 (UTC))

Young adult vs. Young-adult[edit]

Why is RussBot inserting a hyphen into the title of this article? I have never seen young adult spelled with a hyphen. GUllman 20:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. There should not be a hyphen. On his move edit summary, User:Mike Klaassen wrote "Young adult, as a noun, isn't hyphonated. But preceding another noun, it becomes a compound modifier and warrants a hyphen for clarity and ease of reading." Though it is usually the case that compound modifiers are hyphenated, "young adult" is an established genre in the publishing industry which neither publishers nor retailers generally hyphenate. —Lowellian (reply) 16:09, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, although it might be grammatically correct, an encyclopedia should be descriptive, not prescriptive. GUllman 21:49, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I understand your concerns, but please review the section for hyphens under Wikipedia: Manual of Style (Wikipedia Shortcut: wp:hyphen), especially regarding compound adjectives. Young adult is a noun and a genre, but young-adult fiction should be hyphenated, according to the Wikipedia style manual. Mike Klaassen 21:25, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Recognition of the noun young adult and its punctuation as an adjectival modifier are inconsistent. Some dictionaries recognize young adult as a noun (Random House, 2nd 1987), while others do not (Webster's International, 3rd 2002). When recognized (as by Random House), young adult is treated as an open compound noun, with no hyphen. When the phrase young adult is placed before a noun (such as fiction, novel, or author), however, sometimes a hyphen is used and sometimes not. A internet search of news stories, using key words young adult fiction, shows inconsistent use of the hyphen. But the Chicago Manual of Style clearly addresses the issue in "Compounds and Hyphenation," sections 7.82-7.86, "When such compounds precede a noun, hyphenation usually makes for easier reading. With the exception of proper nouns (such as United States) and compounds formed by an adverb ending in ly plus an adjective, it is never incorrect to hypenate adjectival compounds before a noun."(Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition 2003, p. 300) And according to the Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference, "The most complicated business conducted by hyphens is uniting words into adjectival compounds that precede nouns. Many writers neglect to hyphenate such compounds, and the result is ramshackle sentences that often frustrate the reader." (Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference 2005, p. 274) The Wikipedia Manual of Style also addresses the issue of hyphens for compound adjectives. [[1]] Mike Klaassen 22:59, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
[Moved in Nov 2014 from article where it was added by Mike Klaasen on 2 November 2007:]
Although none of the sources cited above list young adult as an example, each clearly expresses a preference for hyphenating compound modifiers. With that in mind, young adult is a noun (without a hyphen) as defined by Random House. But when the noun young adult precedes another noun, it becomes a compound modifier and warrants a hyphen, as in young-adult fiction, young-adult author, young-adult novel, and so on. Because the sources do not declare the absence of a hyphen as grammatically incorrect, widespread inconsistencies in the punctuation of young adult are likely to continue, either out of ignorance or as conscious choice of style.

I don't wish to argue either side of this issue, but I will ask a question motivated only by curiosity.

I have never seen the term "science fiction novel" hyphenated. Why is that? I notice that "science" and "fiction" are always nouns, whereas both "young" and "adult" can be used as either a noun or an adjective. Is is proper not to hyphenate the modifier "science fiction" because both terms are nouns, whereas it IS proper to hyphenate the modifier "young-adult" because both terms are adjectives?

If this is the case, some of the inconsistency might be explained by the fact that both "young" and "adult" are also nouns. KennyLucius 20:38, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

If you do a Google search of news articles using the key words science, fiction, and novel, you will find examples of "science-fiction novel." Also many examples without the hyphen. Frustrating isn't it? Mike Klaassen 21:30, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't even imagine why this topic is a heading under this subject. It has no zero relevance to a reader who wants to know something about YA fiction. It's a pedantic issue best reserved for these discussion pages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Self-promotion and original research?[edit]

User:Mike Klaassen has added multiple external links to articles that he wrote himself. They need to be checked against Wikipedia's self-promotion and no original research policies. —Lowellian (reply) 16:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Compliance. Thank you for bringing these subjects to my attention. I have read the articles listed above and will edit accordingly in the future. Mike Klaassen 22:37, 10 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mike Klaassen (talkcontribs)

Sarah Trimmer - young adulthood[edit]

Hi, In the article on young adulthood, it is stated that Sarah Trimmer first noted this period in 1802. I'm currently doing a PhD on young adult literature and urgently need to find where this reference came from. Can anyone help me with this please? My address is and I would appreciate any information.

Many thanks, --Charlene87 (talk) 19:45, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Charlene87, did you find this source? I am interested to know what it is. Otherwise, does anyone following this dicussion mind if we delete that comment until we can find a source? Given the importance of our understanding of young people in the study of young-adult fiction, I think it's important that we don't make unsubstantiated claims about when we began to make distinctions between children and young adults. For the purpose of understanding the history of young-adult fiction, Trimmer's definition of books for 'young persons' seems sufficient. --Wiki apprentice (talk) 11:27, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Light novel merge?[edit]

After reading the Light Novel article, I added a Light Novel section to Young-adult Fiction. Mike Klaassen (talk) 20:52, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Light novels are written not only for teens, i.e. seinen books are targeted at older male audience. See, for example, Dengeki Bunko Magazine, which is a seinen light novel magazine. -- deerstop. 15:41, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Not that it matters now, but there are no such thing as seinen novels. That demographic term is exclusively used with manga. Light novels are all targeted towards a young adult audience, though there have been a few recent labels targeted at a college age audience that are sometimes referred to as light novels. There's a lot of confusion over the definition of the term in Japan; it essentially is a light novel if the publisher decides to call it one. Doceirias (talk) 01:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Young-adult fiction is not written only for teens either, though mostly marketed to that age group. But I agree that the Light novel article should not be merged with this one. Flyer22 (talk) 00:27, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

YA Novel Word Count[edit]

"YA novels are often as short as 16000 words," did not make any sense to me. That's the length of a novelette, it's not even novella length. I'd expect that kind of word count from a chapter book, not a YA novel. My understanding of YA novels was that they ranged from 50K to 75K, sometimes longer. Even if there are YA novels that are 16,000 words long, it doesn't seem accurate to say it happens "often." I have not seen the reference in the footnotes myself. Is it referring to the same type of fiction as this article is? (Katrinakadabra (talk) 13:19, 6 September 2009 (UTC))

Merge proposal[edit]

I would like to propose that Young Adult Literature (YA Lit) be merged into this article. This article appears to receive heavier traffic, and the other is an orphan. I feel that the two articles are similar enough and cover the same subject matter, and therefore there is no need for two articles. Anyone care to weigh in? (talk) 03:22, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree. -- (talk) 05:42, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
The subject matter is exactly the same, it makes no sense for there to be two articles. strdst_grl (call me Stardust) 14:10, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Agree. This is the more substantial article.--Plad2 (talk) 07:57, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree. They both go hand in hand and Young-adult fiction is an orphan. We'd be killing two birds with one stone. Lucasoutloud (talk) 04:43, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree that they should be one article, but that article should be "Young adult literature" (which currently redirects to this page), not "Young adult fiction", so as to include poetry, biography etc, even if fiction is the principal subject matter. -- Robina Fox (talk) 18:22, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Resolved. Young-adult literature is a REDIRECT here.


Target consumers and age rating are genres now?

So 2 complete diferent things, like a sex comedy and a dark science fiction could be renamed as genre: "Mature". ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

List not all young adult fiction[edit]

Some of these books are debatable as YA fact many of them are subject to ongoing arguments online and in lit journals about whether they are YA. The author's intended audience should matter in its classification. You can't say just because teens like to read these books or are assigned them in school that they are teen books. Flowers for Algernon, for example, is constantly placed in the YA section at libraries because it is assigned in classes and is a favorite of teens, but it has an adult protagonist. Also, even if these books have young protagonists, many of them are books that adults feel they have to read with teens (hence assigning them in school) to help them ascertain the meaning or to deal with difficult sections. Shouldn't YA lit be books teen can read on their own and understand? I suggest at least hinting that there is some discussion about whether these books are YA or not. Also, the notable authors section seems random, just including whatever authors the writers remember. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

11 to 14[edit]

The article mentions age ranges including 14 to 22, 12 to 18, and 10 to 20 (midpoints 16, 15, 15) and implies some consensus that YA does (perhaps for fifty years or so) target middle and older teenagers, at least. Here are some contrary references.

[Carter2000] = Best Books for Young Adults, second edition, Betty Carter with Sally Estes and Linda Waddle, YALSA, ALA, 2000. ISBN 0-838-93501-X

Some points from pages 1-13. (For more about the lists gleaned from this source see Talk:Young Adult Library Services Association#ALA Best Books for Young Adults.)

  • the ALA annual list Best Books for Young Adults by policy considered only books marketed to adults until 1973; during the next twenty years young-adult market books came to be the majority listed (during the same timespan 1960s to 1990s, narrative nonfiction declined from more than 1/2(?) to less than 1/4(?) of the listed books)
  • only in the late 1990s, the young-adult market changed to mean mainly books for older teens; in the past, "adult" market books were considered appropriate for older teens, "young adult" for younger teens; at the 1994 YALSA conference, a panel of five editors agreed that publishers considered YA to mean young adolescents. "Young adult now ends at 14." --editor Richard Jackson, (according to Carter) the publishing policy of the industry as a whole
  • David Gale, Simon & Schuster, explained in 1999 a novelty from the beginning of the decade "We wanted to be honest about the book, and so on the flap we put the designation as age 14 and up, and excerpted part of the book on the back jacket so readers would know exactly what they were getting" --because such content would be a surprise under the YA label

"BOOK ENDS: Prize Problems", Richard R. Lingeman, The New York Times, April 10, 1977, page BR19.

  • regarding National Book Awards, to be announced and presented during this NBA week: one complaint concerns finalists in the Children's Literature category: all young-adult books, nothing for "under-10s"

--P64 (talk) 16:59, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


Up for review Your instructor has asked me to look at the outlines for changes that you plan to make to this article. It appears that you have yet to create an outline on this talk page, so it's not possible for me to provide feedback. Please bear in mind that I will be happy to help you, but I can't do that if you don't make any effort yourself. Pacing yourself is key to this assignment and since semester is mostly over, you really need to ensure that you're keeping up with project. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 05:24, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Why fiction?[edit]

Young-adult literature redirects here. We do not have young-adult books. (Contrast: children's fiction and children's books both redirect to children's literature.)

The lead implies that we have it backward in this respect. Although difficult to describe, I suspect that the young-adult category is more fundamental than fiction in the book publishing and library industries. --P64 (talk) 20:02, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Notable authors[edit]

Very recent edits improve existing listings. During the previous several weeks (May/June) we have these adds and drops.

  • add Robert Muchamore
  • add & revert Christi Goddard
  • drop Maureen Johnson

Here is a tally of births by decade for the 56 purportedly notable authors (except Rae Bridgman, year of birth missing, whose earliest earliest publication date for this notable work is 2006).

Birth decades of notable authors
  • 1 (one) born during the 1890s --subtotal, 1 born before 1900
  • 1, 2, 2 born 1900s, 10s, 20s --subtotal, 6 born before 1930
  • 8, 3, 12 born 1930s, 40s, 50s --subtotal, 29 born before 1960
  • 12, 13, 1 born 1960s, 70s, 80s --total, 55

This report is now complete in that I have checked and corrected my two-day-old clerical work. -P64 2012-06-25/27

Thus merely one-half our notable authors were born before 1960; about one-third born before 1950. The only one with a 19th century birth date is C. S. Lewis (1898), the author of perhaps zero works of young-adult literature. Robert Heinlein, William Golding, and J. D. Salinger (born 1907, 1911, 1919) certainly do qualify. Of the four, only Heinlein barely started this work before WWII.
The list barely represents even their children's generation, who include most of the authors responsible for the golden age that we cite in the article. Quote: "The 1970s to the mid-1980s have been described as the golden age of young-adult fiction—when challenging novels began speaking directly to the interests of the identified adolescent market.[5]"
--P64 (talk) 00:57, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
If Harry Potter is YA literature, not to mention Narnia, then I believe most of Boarding schools in literature should be admitted --and some were notable! --P64 (talk) 01:08, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Delete section (10,788 bytes)

Another editor has deleted the entire section with no other change.

(cur | prev) 13:40, 8 September 2012‎ Nikkimaria (talk | contribs)‎ . . (39,428 bytes) (-10,788)‎ . . (rm) (undo)

I check all four-digit numbers, don't see many fives! P64 (talk) 15:49, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Young adult problem novel -- new section?[edit]

There is a discussion of the YA problem novel included in the (duplicate) articles Problem novel and Problem fiction, but this topic really belongs here. Perhaps, as a beginning, the appropriate paragraph in the Problem novel article could be copied to this article. Does this make sense? Rwood128 (talk) 22:28, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Middle Grade and Young Adult[edit]

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Children's literature#Middle Grade and Young Adult

--cross-reference by "postor" P64 (talk) 17:08, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

The first Young adult book ever written was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.[edit]

I removed reverted this addition because it seems arguable to me and is not cited. Thoughts? HullIntegrity (talk) 12:03, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Properly removed. It would need both tags [citation needed] and [clarification needed]. When we do have sources to cover the scope of young-adult, either by description or by example, {{clarify}} is appropriate. The sense should be explained here, not left for readers to check the source. For example, "young adult" (perhaps abbreviated, capitalized, hyphenated) as a publisher's or a library's term. A publisher in book cover or jacket material? in description filed with US Library of Congress? in sales catalog description? in labelled section of a catalog?
--P64 (talk) 17:42, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, categories are by nature problematical, and I certainly am not heading into that realm over a minor addition. But I do think YA can be defined under new parameters from contemporary, reliable, authoritative sources other than the publishers. HullIntegrity (talk) 20:18, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

YA Dystopian[edit]

This sub-genre: the Young Adult Dystopian Novel, deserves, given its remarkably steep ascendance in current popular culture, its own section and discreet history. We came here trying to trace the history and development of this genre in a discussion about the place The Giver holds in its development, and could not find much useful information in these YA articles. Nesdon (talk) 19:35, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Page move[edit]

I've moved the page from Young-adult fiction to Young adult fiction because it seems to be the most common spelling variety and is used in the body more than the hyphenated version. Feel free to request a change back to the original if this seems unreasonable. Me, Myself & I (☮) (talk) 02:01, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Opening sentence[edit]

The cited source - here - defines "young adults" as aged 12-18. The information should not be changed, unless a different reliable source is cited. Ghmyrtle (talk) 11:19, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Feeling your style.[edit]

To get good..

Publican Farmer (talk) 22:42, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Misleading name for this genre[edit]

Young adult novels are primarily aimed at adolescents, so why is this type of novel bizarrely called young adult fiction? The article should state how this type of novel gained its misleading name. Why isn't it called adolescent fiction, teen fiction, high school fiction or coming-of-age fiction? I'm not suggesting the article's name be changed; I realise WP call it that because that's its common name - but why did it become called young adult fiction? Magazines aimed at adolescents aren't termed young adult magazines. Films aimed at an adolescent audience aren't called young adult films. No-one would describe their 15-year-old son/daughter/niece/nephew as a young adult - yet they'd likely buy them a novel that's described as young adult, knowing that it's designed for people their age. A teacher whose pupils are 15 wouldn't say that (s)he teaches young adults. Jim Michael (talk) 11:04, 8 September 2017 (UTC)