Friday, January 2, 2009

YA? Adult? Who knows?

Aaaaaaand... we're back.

Vacation is a wonderful thing, but we all must return to the working world eventually.

Recently, I was asked how I can tell the difference between a children's book and a YA book, and a YA book and an adult book. The answer is: I can't, really. I mean, sure, I can look at the publisher's information and see which division of the company published it, but that's just one part of the whole. Having a teen character is not an obvious indicator of a book being YA. Matters are not helped by things like the dumbest article ever written about YA literature, which incorrectly labels Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep as a YA novel. (Um, not even close.) The best answer I have is that YA books focus on the here-and-now, the immediacy of whatever is happening to the main character, without an older-and-wiser voice of wisdom (which is why Prep is not a YA book).

Mostly, I'm writing this entry to point you to a fantastic blog entry from literary agent Nathan Bransford: Dude looks like a YA. He talks more about YA vs. adult and what literary devices separate the two.

Coming soon to Librarilly Blonde: Printz predictions, reviews, and author interviews! Also a post I've owed for months.

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