Admit it: Whether it was Harry Potter, Twilight, or The Hunger Games, you’ve nicked a book off your kids’ bookshelves when you were looking for something to read. And why not? Young Adult books (or YA to those in the know) have come a long way since the days of Sweet Valley High. “A lot of YA is very literary at this point, and yet, it’s also easy to read because one of the basic requirements for the teen audience is that you can’t bore them,” says local YA author Kim Purcell.
YA authors have to find that perfect balance between “too kiddie” and “too adult,” write stories that are both entertaining and complex, and find a way to lure their target audience away from the myriad other diversions that are clamoring for their attention. No wonder so many of these novels are so gripping—and no wonder the genre keeps growing. The Atlantic reports that the number of YA titles ballooned from 3,000 to 30,000 in the 12-year period between 1997 (the year the first Harry Potter book was released) and 2009, and
Publishers Weekly reports that sales of children’s/young adult books increased 13 percent in 2012 to the tune of $3.70 billion. We asked local YA authors to tell us how they’ve managed to crest the wave.
Judy Blundell | Strings Attached
Barbara Dee | Trauma Queen
Léna Roy | Edges
Amalie Howard | Waterfell
Kim Purcell | Trafficked
Patricia Dunn | Rebels by Accident
Todd Strasser | Fallout
Click here, and read as these authors Remember Their Fondest Moments
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