I often find the need to defend myself when I tell people I write Young Adult fiction. Not that anyone’s ever been openly rude to me–it’s more of a self-imposed inferiority complex. I just feel like some kind of pre-emptive strike is necessary to ensure that new acquaintances understand that I’m a real writer.
I need you to understand that Twilight is not representative of the entire genre, that there is more to YA than the Gossip Girl series, that I keep company with phenomenal writers who in no way resemble Lauren Conrad. Please, I beg you. You must believe me!
Or maybe I should just let the books speak for themselves. Here’s a short list of titles that I feel are superb examples of why Young Adult literature deserves to be taken seriously, and why YA writers are indeed real writers.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
- Luna, by Julie Ann Peters
- Dream Boy, by Jim Grimsley
- Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
- King Dork, by Frank Portman
- The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
While I’m at it, I think I’ll throw in another list. Here are some classics that, if published today, would most definitely be categorized as YA:
- The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
- The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
- Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
- The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Do you have any titles you think should be added to these lists?