Celebrate Teen Literature Day

Lia Zneimer  //  Apr 17, 2014

Celebrate Teen Literature Day

April is School Library Month, which means 30 days full of library love. (As a total bookworm, what could be better than an entire month dedicated to libraries?!) Deimosa posted about School Librarian Day on the fourth, but this week, as part of National Library Week, we’re jumping on board with Celebrate Teen Literature Day.

Nothing says you have to be a teenager to be a fan of teen literature. In fact, we’d argue the exact opposite: Young Adult (YA) literature is incredible in and of itself. Every day—but especially today—we celebrate the awesomeness that is YA lit. In their research, Jeff Wilhelm and Michael Smith, the co-authors of Reading Unbound: Why Kids Should Read What They Want--and Why We Should Let Them, found that the power of choice is an integral part of getting kids to learn to love to read. Perhaps the same principle applies to adults. As This is Teen’s Emily Morrow wrote in an OOM post this fall, “YA books are my escape of choice. No matter what time, world, or city they’re set in, they perfectly capture what it means and what it feels like to be growing up.”

If 20 years of bestselling books are any indication of what we read, teens aren’t the only ones who read YA. In fact, a 2012 study found that 55% of YA books are bought by adults. Some folks (ourselves included) argue that YA lit knows no bounds when it comes to age. In fact, our #IReadYA campaign, spearheaded by our This is Teen team, encourages all YA–lovers to hold their book covers high regardless of how old they are. Meanwhile, others believe that adults should read, well, adult books. We’ve rounded up a few great reads that tackle the debate:

  • The New York Times – “The Power of Young Adult Fiction”  
  • The Wall Street Journal – “See Grown-Ups Read”
  • Los Angeles Times – “Young Adult Lit Comes of Age”
  • CBS News – “Not Just for Kids: Young Adult Books Are Big Sellers”
  • The Wire – “Adults Are Devouring Kids’ Books for Good Reason”
  • Mashable – “15 Young-Adult Books Every Adult Should Read”
  • Flavorwire – “25 YA Novels Everyone—Even Adults—Should Read”
  • Metro – “Talking YA Fiction with a Librarian (It’s Not Just for Young Adults!)”
  • The Michigan Daily – “In Defense of Young Adult Literature”

What do you think? Should adults leave YA to teens? Or do you find yourself jumping on the #IReadYA bandwagon? We’d love to hear your thoughts!