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July 05, 2017


Hank Phillippi Ryan

I'm enchanted with YA! I have judged YA categories for several awards, and I am always blown away by the thought, quality, and talent… And finger on the pulse knowledge of the incredibly talented authors.
Yeah, young adults ain't what they used to be. I suppose… That's a good thing. In a way.

Elaine Viets

There are still the traditional YA books, Hank, but now there's room for even more creativity. Like adult fiction, YA readers now have a wider choice.


I would argue that Nancy Drew is more Middle Grade (aimed at late elementary school and maybe Jr. High/Middle School) while all of these books do sound like YA (High School). There is a huge difference in the topics discussed in these books.

Personally, there are several middle grade authors out there I still enjoy. And I've been known to reread favorites from when I was a kid as well, like the Hardys, Nancy, and Trixie. Yes, they were invincible. But I think we all like to live in that fantasy every so often. Look at superhero or action movies. Even in action movies, the main characters are invincible to a certain extent.

Alan P.

With a 12 and 15 year old in the house, YA is all over the house as well. They love them. And no, it is not your mother's YA (OK, in our house Paper Town does share shelf space with Are you there God? It's me, Margret) The girls love them. I have read a few as well. Some of the YA books are mine,not the girls.

Elaine Viets

I agree that we all like to live the fantazy, Mark -- some times I want a book that's fun and fantasy, other times I prefer a serious subject.

Elaine Viets

"Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" is a classic, Alan, and I'm glad it survives. Have to check out Paper Town.


I read tons of YA literature (and a fair amount of MG stuff). There is certainly still an open market for traditional mystery in the YA field. There are some, but like much of the YA arena, there is tons of genre crossover and not a lot of straight-up traditional mystery.

One book in recent years that I absolutely loved was E. Lockhart's We Were Liars.

Elaine Viets

Another good one to add to the list. Thanks, Kristopher.


I absolutely agree, Elaine. Sometimes you want the fantasy, sometimes, you wanted something more serious.

Elaine Viets

Thanks, Mark, and thanks for helping with the confusing divisions of books for "young people."

Ruth Krieger

While studying for a PhD in marketing, I started reading YA books to unwind -- and to speed up reading, which had slowed down from deciphering too many statistical formulae. Unexpected result: better communication with my own kids (whose books I had pilfered).

Elaine Viets

That is a bonus, Ruth. Which ones helped?

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