Young Adult Fiction Takes Off

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(life serial/Flickr)
(life serial/Flickr)

"Zombies vs. Unicorns" may sound like the title of Mel Brooks horror film parody, but it's not. It's the actual name of a hugely popular young adult anthology by authors Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.

"Y.A." books, as they're also known, are one of the few bright spots in the publishing industry these days. For example, in the first half of 2009, sales of grownup fiction dropped almost 18 percent. Y.A. sales, on the other hand, grew by 30 percent in the same period.

In part, that's because so many grownups are reading Y.A. But it's also because of the themes these books tackle: zombies, unicorns, wizards, vampires, Dystopias. It can get dark, too dark, according to some critics.

Whatever it is, young adult fiction has taken off and is a publishing force to be reckoned with.

Are you a Y.A. fan? Why? What's in Y.A. that you don't get in adult fiction? What's on your reading list this summer?


  • Robin Brenner, teen librarian, Brookline Public Library
  • Lauren MacLeod, literary agent specializing in Y.A., Strothman Agency

This segment aired on June 17, 2011.


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