Young Adult Literature

Young Adult fiction (and, more rarely, nonfiction) is a publishing term for books aimed at readers 14 to 21 years old. It uses a slightly simpler vocabulary and does not assume certain experiences on the part of the reader. Currently, Young Adult is mostly a marketing concept and thus YA novels are well represent in both literary and genre fiction. Generally, YA fiction would feature a child or teenage protagonist (although not always), usually in a Coming-of-Age Story. A common staple of YA fiction is the "problem novel," in which some sort of societal issue (such as sexuality, mental illness, poverty, racism, etc) is discussed. Since all of this is also likely to appeal to adults, it is often separately marketed to both demographics. Young Adult fiction can feature content deemed unsuitable for children, but also will often have didactic and moralistic content.

The rough television equivalent is the Teen Drama (or Kid Com, though depending on the network usually aimed at a younger age group). The rough manga and anime equivalents are Shonen and Shoujo.

Also see Children's Literature, for the next age category down.

While Light Novels are directed at young adult audiences too, they are on their own index for convenience.

For the 2011 movie, see Young Adult.

List of young adult novels and series:

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  • The term is parodied by The Simpsons in the episode with the... cumbersome name of "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples, Teens and Gays," when "anti-family" legislation lets the public library set up a red-light shelf labeled "Adult".
  • The genre is parodied in the 2011 film Young Adult, in which the protagonist is an author of several books in a fading series of high-school novels.

Alternative Title(s):

Young Adult