Many thanks to Jandy Nelson, who pointed this article out on her facebook page. The New York Times published this essay in the Sunday Book Review today (I know.... it's Friday) about the current popularity of Young Adult books with those of us who can no longer claim to be young adults. The essay pointed out that the Harry Potter generation has grown up, graduated from Hogwart's and now is looking for something a bit more mature. But among the reasons cited for the 'older' audience of YA books is one very important aspect..... one that I have always suspected and share with many people who have commented on my (near obsessive) interest in YA and children's literature, in general. (Ninety per cent of my reading material falls into these two categories. No apologies.) Very simply, YA and Children's books know how to, and value, the aspect of storytelling in literature. These writer's know how to craft a story, develop characters and relationships and maintain the integrity of the plot.
'The themes are serious and the discussions intense, but the books are fast-paced and fun. “A lot of contemporary adult literature is characterized by a real distrust of plot,” (Lev) Grossman* said. “I think young adult fiction is one of the few areas of literature right now where storytelling really thrives.” (* Lev Grossman is the book critic for Time.)
Among the children's authors praised in this essay are Susan Cooper, Eoin Colfer and Rick Riordan. Brilliant!