Thursday, December 08, 2011

Young Adults Book Boom

Last night on Channel 4 there was a segment on how YA book sales are booming, compared to other book "markets" - please, YA is not a GENRE.

It makes for interesting watching - the school kids they talk to utterly hit it on the nose about why you want to read and why people continue reading and it is exactly the same thing I heard time and again when I spoke to kids in the past at the school I've visited giving talks about reading and writing.

And importantly - gods, I hope this was not staged - the boys they showed spoke enthusiastically about reading for pleasure.  My heart soared.  Can we have more of these kids, please?
Apart from the fact that a part of the segment was shot in Foyles, of course, it has a great interview with Charlie Higson and it made me grin about how truthful he was: his books are about zombie adults eating children.  Cheeky beggar.

The segment ends, with a boy holding the most loved and tattered copy of Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl.  I know how that kid feels.  I have a lot of books who are that loved and that tattered.

It's an interesting segment and one that really can quite easily be expanded on into a full programme or even series. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part as a geek girl who loves reading?


Suz Korb said...

What do you mean YA isn't a genre? It's THEE genre of the times! I saw that segment on Channel 4 last night. It was brilliant and I was well chuffed to learn that YA is taking over the UK like it already has the USA.


Jenni (Juniper's Jungle) said...

I saw this last night and thought it was in general excellent, the kids in particular.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

Oooh, I missed that. Buggger.

You're right calling YA a genre is wrong, just like calling the 'adult' market a genre would be.

Joanna Farrow said...

Yes! Nail on the head. YA ie NOT a genre. So annoying when people think it is.

YA, like adult, is not a genre. And its not an age range either. It's more of a guideline to the MCs age and what tone the story will be.

GENRE is what you can expect from the story: horror, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, contemporary. Each genre with their own subgenres to help you understand better what details a story will carry.

Suz Korb said...

To readers YA is a genre. This is how word or term meanings evolve. Before I was a writer I was a novel reader and I loved reading the YA genre because that's what I came to understand that term to mean. Just like when used to read the "adult genre" of books. To readers that means "erotica". It's the way words get categorised to signify a certain meaning as they evolve and become used more. But I see what you're saying as a writer and taking the term of YA to mean young adult and not a genre. However, word meanings change and become accepted as the norm. YA readers know what they mean when the say they love reading the YA genre!

Edward Oliveira said...

Here's something you might not believe but I'm actually Edward Oliveira from the recording (you know, the guy who said WOW).

The recording wasn't staged at all, we had to think quickly what we were gonna say.

And yeah I was quite pleased about myself when I saw myself on TV. It was brilliant.

I completely agree with what you said too and if you are living in Lambeth, UK, then your in luck because Stockwell Park High School is nearby.

And one more thing, you might think that I'm trying to get all the attention but I was actually the boy with the pirate book and when I said WOW. If you still don't believe me well you can go here: (yes it is me)

Thanks, Edward Oliveira