I’ve been hemming and hawing over whether I wanted to write a review of Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World here, and ultimately I decided to publish it on my blog instead. But the process has made me think more about where YA literature and “adult” literature do and don’t cross over.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about adults reading YA, but what about the reverse? In my YA lit class we discussed the importance of putting copies of popular adult titles in the YA/teen section. I can remember from my not-so-distant teen years that it took me a long time to venture into the adult titles, although now I realize that more than a few were shelved among my beloved YA titles. (While my fourteen year old self, for instance, was immensely grateful to find an Anita Blake mystery in the YA section, my twenty-four year old self doesn’t really consider that a YA title.)
So what makes an adult title fit for shelving in the YA section? I tried to pin this down in a conversation with the Sig Fig, but we didn’t really make any headway. We came up with several big-name authors read by young adults and old adults alike, but no real reasoning for why they should have such crossover popularity.
I put it to you, then, dear readers. Do you keep copies of adult fiction both in the general and YA/teen sections of your library? Are there titles classified as adult fiction that you exclusively shelve in YA? Who are the adult authors your teens can’t get enough of?