YA at Boskone

Consider how many YA books were mentioned at the “If You Liked That, Read This” panel, I was expected even more recommendations from “Why Adults Love YA.” But Bruce Coville, Michael J. Daley, Sarah Beth Durst, Margeret Ronald, and Navah Wolfe pretty much stuck to the topic. Short answer: What’s wrong with liking books that tell a rattling good story that leave you feeling optimistic?

Bruce Coville suggested that in the teen years there’s an attraction to the dark side. We’re moving from a protected time to awareness of the dark. Sarah Beth Durst added that it gives you a chance to touch that iron and see if it really is that hot.

From the audience came the suggestion that growth and change remain relevant throughout life now. We have second and third careers, divorce and remarriage, always reinventing ourselves. Another comment raised the issue of editing. Apparently YA books are edited more carefully than adult novels. I think that the audience won’t put up with a slow start or a boring story, whereas adults have been through the high school required reading, or hear “once you get through the first hundred pages you’ll be fine.”

All told it was an interesting panel that left me feeling optimistic. And I wrote down a couple more book recommendations after all:
How to Say Goodbye in Robot, by Natalie Standiford
Unicorn Chronicles, by Bruce Coville