What is young adult fiction and who is it for?

I write fiction for kids and young adults so I belong to quite a few author groups. Although I think most of the authors are amazing people–hardworking, helpful and generally kind–I have been frustrated with how some Indie authors think what YA books should be like. Some feel that just because the protagonist (hero or heroine) is a teen, then the book is a YA. Never mind that the main character behaves like an adult and there is explicit sex and the book’s spewing foul language every few paragraphs.
 
As a parent of pre-teen and even young teens, I don’t feel comfortable that there are books categorized as young adult fiction–meaning they are suitable for 12 year-olds–that my eleven-year-old might read.
 
Another grouse I have is when adults read YA books and find it too childish–like, which person (meaning herself the reader) would do such a thing (meaning what the protagonist who is an eighteen-year-old did.) YA books are typically for readers 12-18, sometimes up to a 21-year old. I don’t expect a twenty-eight-year-old to have a teenager’s mindset. After all, even a twenty-year old isn’t allowed to drink alcoholic beverages. There’s nothing wrong in being a young-at-heart, but full-grown adults must remember that they are not the target audience when reading young adult fiction. Teens are not in the same place in life—mentally and emotionally—as an adult, even when the teen is already eighteen.
 
(Incidentally, this is one reason my YA suspense thriller Dead Dreams got a couple of one-star reviews on Amazon. Another reason being that the readers can’t wait for Book 2 and gave the book a poor rating on account of that. But not to fear, Book 2 is already available.) You can check out the trailer here.

dead dreams n gone missing cover
As an author I feel I have an ethical obligation to not set the bar so low for these young people reading my books. But if we look at the literature for kids these days is it any wonder we have so many problems with our society these days?
What do you think?

 

 

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About The Author

emma right

Multiple award-winning author and copywriter. Children young adult fiction best sellers.

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