A New “Golden Age” in Teen Reading?

According to an article published in the March 7 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, we are in the midst of a revival of teen reading.    According to Booklist magazine critic Michael Cart, a leading expert on young adult literature, “Kids are buying books in quantities we’ve never seen before.  And publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven’t seen since the 1940s.”  Other experts in the field cite the growing quantity and quality of young adult literature as a primary reason why book sales in the 12-18 age market have jumped in recent years.   Other YA literature authorities cite the growing body of YA lit that is more sophisticated in theme and content as a major reason for the increase in book sales.

Popular genres include graphic novels, fantasy, mystery, romance, and gritty “coming of age” stories.  Librarian Holly Koelling, who tracks these trends in an upcoming edition of Best Books for Young Adults, an American Library Association reference book, observes, “There has been an increase in the age of the protagonist, the complexity of the plotting and the content — the gravity of the content.  I think it may be a reflection of a more sophisticated teenage population.”

Take a few minutes to read the article.  What do you think?  Are you buying more books?  Why or why  not?  Whether you are buying or checking out books from the library, what genres and themes do you think are hot with teen readers right now?   Do you see this trend of book buying and more reading in your circle of friends and community?

Categories: Book Musings | Leave a comment

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