Sat, Apr 18, 2020
Young adult (YA) fiction includes fiction of all genres (science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc.) primarily written for an audience of teenagers or young adults. In recent years YA has become very popular, with books like the Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars made into blockbuster movies. If you haven’t yet explored YA fiction, we have some recommendations for you.
The measures taken by people and governments to avoid spreading or contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 have put us in an unprecedented situation and presented us with many challenges, one of which may be spending much more time than usual in close quarters with our families. YA novels almost always involve overcoming a challenge, whether personal, societal or both. Finding a solution to a long-standing problem, fighting injustice or besting one’s demons are all staples of these stories. A YA novel also gives adults the opportunity to remember what it is like to be a teen and perhaps also to empathize with their teen during this quarantine. As we fight for a return to normalcy, it can be comforting (and inspiring!) to read the story of someone who showed courage in the face of overwhelming odds, battled for equality, or came out of difficult situation with the help of family and friends.
Sometimes the moment chooses the person. In Red Rising, the first book in a series of the same name, a tragic event makes Darrow the secret weapon in the fight for equality in a rigidly stratified society. This story is set in space and takes place in humanity’s distant future. Like Red Rising, the Mortal Engines series takes place in the future, and Tom, an apprentice Historian, becomes embroiled in a scenario that leads him to become a freedom fighter, despite his best efforts to avoid it. Set in the present-day United States, The Hate U Give is a coming of age story. Starr, who is Black, becomes involved in a national news story when she witnesses a white police officer shoot and kill her long-time friend Khalil. This novel touches on many crucially relevant topics, including racism and classism, as well providing profound insight on what it’s like to face the world as a Black teenager today.
Even if you can’t get out of the house or out of town, YA lets you explore distant worlds, our own world in a different time, or simply see things from a fresh perspective. Take a few minutes to explore these titles or search the catalogue for “young adult” and the name of your favourite genre.
Blog post contributed by Andréa from our Elmvale Acres branch.