The YA Are Our Future

A couple years ago I was in the checkout line at a Borders bookstore. Behind me was a girl, eleven or twelve years old. In her hands she had a couple CDs, maybe one PS2 game, and three YA novels.

More novels than either CDs or video games! I wanted to give her a great big hug right there in the checkout line. (Which, as an unshaven middle-aged man, probably would’ve gotten me arrested…. :) ) But with reading rates plunging and modern kids distracted by more other entertainment options than ever before, any kid who’s reading any fiction is fine by me. If they learn to love reading and/or the stuff they’re reading, hopefully they’ll keep reading fiction as an adult. And with paranormal and SF/F/H the hottest thing right now in YA, it’s even better for us writers of adult spec-fic.

Author and blogger John Scalzi has a great post today on this very subject. He notes that YA novels have been finalists and winners for several of the major SF/F awards this year. And he thinks it’s great too.

This is of course all market-driven–YA readers are buying paranormal stuff, so authors are writing it and publishers are publishing it. But behind that market trend are millions of young readers who hopefully will carry an interest in fiction into their adult lives.

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