“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” --Madeline L'Engle
Among the many side effects of NaNoWriMo is a distinct lack of free time to be used for writing a blog post for the TCWT blog chain. This is why I currently sit in my third-period AP Human Geography class on Wednesday morning, writing this post on a piece of loose leaf paper. So, with my pen at the ready, here I go.
YA literature (or Young Adult Literature) is a topic that is highly relevant to me. When your'e fifteen years old, you read YA and write YA. But that's the thing. My stories fall in the YA genre, according to some people, simply because they are aimed at teenagers. As a teen myself, though, I don't think of these books as "YA". To me, they are still fantasy and realistic fiction and the ever-dreaded nonfiction.
My NaNo novel this year is called The Time-Weaver. NaNoWriMo asked me to define the genre of my book, and I was left for the third year in a row to decide between "Fantasy" and "Young Adult". While I finally chose Fantasy, I was left a little miffed. Young Adult literature, like Children's or Adults', deserves its own set of genres. 'Young Adult' should be a descriptive phrase used to distinguish its subjects from books aimed at other ages, not to create a genre of its own. I find it rather insulting hear it called a genre, as if YA fantasy is somehow not "real" fantasy, or as though all the books aimed at adolescents are the same. That's saying that Harry Potter and The Fault in Our Stars belong in the same genre. In other words: utterly preposterous.
Let's put it this way: When I say "doctor", the first image most people see is (or at some point was) likely a man. This stereotype isn't true for me; my mom is a doctor. Does being a woman make her a worse doctor, or any less qualified? Of course not! The idea of YA lit being its own genre is, simply put, a prejudice. It is a prejudice against the idea that novels written for teens can be thought-provoking, or complicated, or more than, as we call them in my house, 'fluff'. John Green's books definitely aren't fluff, that's for sure!
Now, I agree that YA lit should be shelved separate from Adult books and Children's books, but YA lit varies as greatly as Adult literature and should be treated the same.
And now, if you'll excuse my past self, I must get back to my NaNo notebook.
Sorry for the short post. I know it's far below my usual standards, but I'll be back to normal next month. Oh NaNo, the things you make me post on my blog! :)