A few posts down, I had asked if any of us read YA books as actual teenagers. There are lots of interesting comments to that, so be sure to check them out or add your thoughts if you haven’t already done so. In her comment, responding to the fact that many of us in our early 30s didn’t really even know contemporary YA existed as teens, Kristin says, “This is weird! I wonder if it's different for teenagers now? Are kids more tuned in to what's currently being published, and if so, why? Or were we the anomalies? Should we have known about contemporary YA?”
Can we talk about this? Is it that YA is such a bigger deal than it was in the late 80s/early 90s? Is it marketed better? What has changed, or has anything changed? I really can’t imagine that we were the anomalies. We were all big readers, we went on to have lasting interests in children’s literature, and I suspect, had I really known that there were a whole bunch of great YA books just waiting for me, I would have read everything I could get my hands on. It’s hard for me to step back and view YA literature from anything other than my perspective—having gone to Simmons, having worked for years selling children’s books, and reading almost solely YA books now—to see if “the rest of the world” is familiar with/aware of YA books. We are all big readers of YA, and know about the new books/trends/hot titles, but what about actual teenagers? Since many of us work/worked in bookstores, or teach teenagers, or are librarians, or write for teens, or edit books aimed at teens (need I go on?), I'm sure a lot of people have an opinion on this. I'm interested to know what you think about this subject.