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Did you read YA as a teen?

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Interesting how many of us are citing Cynthia Voigt.  I always thought it was cool that she wrote both contemporary realistic and fantasy.  Her sensibility has definitely informed me as a writer of contemporary realistic and her stories have resonated with me throughout my life.  I wonder if this is across the board with YA writers--if she could be considered the inspiration for a generation of YA authors in their 20s-40s?

I wonder that too. She is the reason I wanted to write MGs and YAs. I was a late bloomer academically and Homecoming was the first long book I ever read. It opened up a new love of and confidence in reading for me. I read a bunch of her realistic novels and also a decent amount of Madeline L'Engle. (Not to mention a shameful number of teen romances and Sweet Valley High books.) But by the time I was in high school, I was pretty much reading adult novels. I think I would have read YA if that had been an option.
#31 - August 14, 2009, 11:05 AM
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 01:51 PM by Laura W. »

I wonder that too. She is the reason I wanted to write MGs and YAs. I was a late bloomer academically and Homecoming was the first long book I ever read. It opened up a new love of and confidence in reading for me. I read a bunch of her realistic novels and I also a decent amount of Madeline L'Engle. (Not to mention a shameful number of teen romances and Sweet Valley High books.) But by the time I was in high school, I was pretty much reading adult novels. I think I would have read YA if that had been an option.

Homecoming is also the first long book I remember reading!  I also remember liking its tone even though I didn't quite understand everything.  I love how everyone is so true to life in that book and how as I got older I understood everyone better.  As a kid I identified with the Tillerman kids so much but later I understood why the adults in the book behaved the way they did.
#32 - August 14, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Some of you who don't remember seeing YA sections in libraries or bookstores when you were growing up might be interested in this thread:

http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?topic=32355.0
#33 - August 14, 2009, 01:07 PM
VAMPIRINA IN THE SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
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As a kid, I was in a big rush to be all "mature" and read the adult books (example: I first read The Color Purple in the sixth grade. Reading it again as a junior in high school, I was like, "Wow, this makes *so* much more sense now" :) ). But I did read some YA, ranging from dreadful series fiction (*cough*SVH*cough*) to the really good stuff. My favorite authors were Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, and Barthe DeClements (anyone else remember her? The Elsie Edwards books? I Never Asked You to Understand Me? Loved her.). I didn't read a lot of Cynthia Voigt, but what I read, I really liked. A couple of my other random favorites were Ellen Conford's A Royal Pain (a sort of proto-Princess Diaries) and Margaret Mahy's The Changeover (I've noticed that The Changeover has sort of a cult following among women my age, including some big name YA authors, which makes it seem particularly tragic to me that it's out of print. With paranormal romance's raging popularity, I'd think it would be an ideal choice for a reissue. Maybe we should start a petition  :yup ).
#34 - August 14, 2009, 02:04 PM

Thanks for linking to the other thread, Anne Marie!  I tried to look for something similar before starting this one but words like "read", "young adult" and "kid" tend to pull up a lot of results and I had no luck. :)
#35 - August 14, 2009, 02:09 PM
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I've noticed that The Changeover has sort of a cult following among women my age, including some big name YA authors, which makes it seem particularly tragic to me that it's out of print. With paranormal romance's raging popularity, I'd think it would be an ideal choice for a reissue. Maybe we should start a petition  :yup ).

It worked for the Betsy Tacy books, and it's relatively inexpensive, I'd think, for publishing companies to reissue books as long as there aren't any rights issues to deal with. I bet HaroldU will have something valuable to add about this...
#36 - August 14, 2009, 02:35 PM

I didn't, but I always wanted to seem older than I was. For instance, I stopped watching cartoons in first grade because my older sister told me they were babyish (except when no one was in the house, then I'd sneak watch cartoos.)

Just the perils of being the youngest in a family.

I'm enjoying them now, at least.
#37 - August 14, 2009, 03:02 PM
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Um... Ok, I want to make sure I'm clear on what you're saying.  You're 19, so you've been a teenager since 2003, right?  And you're saying there wasn't any YA before that?  Am I reading that right?

Yes, I have been a teenager since 2003, and I remember the options in YA being very limited then.  It could be that I was looking in the wrong place, but, from what I remember, there was no YA section then at my library, just 'X' for really young books, 'Y' for kid books, and then the jump to adult books.  I honestly didn't really start noticing YA sections until a couple of years later.
#38 - August 14, 2009, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for linking to the other thread, Anne Marie!  I tried to look for something similar before starting this one but words like "read", "young adult" and "kid" tend to pull up a lot of results and I had no luck. :)

Amanda,

LOL--I'm usually the one telling people to search but in this case, though I knew what was in the thread, I couldn't come up with the right keywords and I resorted to a plea to the other admins--Courtney found it!

AM
#39 - August 14, 2009, 05:54 PM
VAMPIRINA IN THE SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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No. Was The Outsiders the first official YA novel? I would have been too old for it. At any rate, I went straight from MG to adult novels at about 12. I read Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller and Daphe duMaurier and whatever else I could get my hands on.

Some books that are now considered YA were classified as adult books when I was a teen. The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird are two.
#40 - August 14, 2009, 10:22 PM
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I was a teen in the '80s, and YA didn't exist really.  There were kids' books, all lumped together.  But I read Cormier, Duncan, L'Engle, Johnston (my favorite), Stolz, Foley (though this was in my late teens, as I don't believe she started writing until then), Conford (both her mg and tween books), Zindel...those are the ones which come to mind.  I didn't read some of the classics (such as Speare or Hunt) until I was in college and took a class on children's lit.  Our library, although pretty good, just couldn't have everything -- especially as the kids' shelves were books ranging in targeted age groups from 5-18.  I probably stopped pulling from those shelves in junior high and started reading adult books then.

As for no YA in 2003, I suspect that's because you didn't know where to look.  As someone who was definitely NOT a teen then (hehe), I was astounded at the wide variety and sheer number of YA books by then.  Even in the '90s it began to grow quickly (Tammy Pierce, for example, produced quite a few wonderful books then) -- but I only knew this because I was looking everywhere I possibly could (and also, I had my own income so I could search bookstores).
#41 - August 15, 2009, 08:41 AM
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I was a teen in the '80s, and YA didn't exist really.

That's really strange because I was a teen in the late 70s/early 80s and it certainly existed then.  See link above.
#42 - August 15, 2009, 10:08 AM
VAMPIRINA IN THE SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
BUSY-EYED DAY (Beach Lane Books, 2018)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others

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I didn't express myself very clearly (shockingly) -- in our library (and even the local bookstores), they didn't separate YA from the rest of the kids' books.  So all the books in the children's sections were shelved alphabetically and you'd find Seuss right next to Snyder.  Also, aside from Cormier, Hinton, Zindel, etc, most of the 'teen' books were actually 'tween' books.  Very few existed in our neck of the woods that had MCs older than 14 or 15.

This started changing around the time I entered college (so late '80s'); by the time I'd graduated college (early '90s'), I could find separate YA sections in the libraries and in the bookstores.  It could just be that Denver was behind the times ;)
#43 - August 15, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

Barthe DeClements (anyone else remember her? The Elsie Edwards books? I Never Asked You to Understand Me? Loved her.).

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#44 - August 18, 2009, 11:54 AM
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There was a YA section in my local library, but it was really small.  The entire second floor of the library was children's books (about 1/3 picture books, 1/3 chapter books and MG novels, and 1/3 kids nonfiction), whereas there was only a corner of the first floor (one row of shelves and three turning racks) for teen books.  My high school library had a pretty good selection of YA, though, so I got quite a few books there, too.  This would have been in the late '80s/early to mid '90s.

I started reading Sweet Valley High and Christopher Pike books around grade five or six.  Loved William Sleator, Meredith Ann Pierce, Monica Hughes, and Diana Wynne Jones in my teens.  I started reading adult books not long after I started reading teen books but I never switched over completely, always enjoyed reading YA.
#45 - August 19, 2009, 05:10 AM
YA paranormal, sci fi, & fantasy:
GIVE UP THE GHOST
Fallen World series
Earth & Sky trilogy
A MORTAL SONG
http://www.megancrewe.com

I didn't read much that wasn't assigned reading in high school because I read everything that was supposed to be for teens in junior high. Near the end of high school I discovered Jackie Collins and started to read again. Suffice it to say, I think most mature subject matter is fine for young adults.
#46 - August 19, 2009, 02:21 PM

From my memory, there wasn't much YA to speak of when I was a teen--at least, not that I was aware of. There were the classics like Hinton and Salinger. and L'Engle There might have been some YA fantasy, but I didn't like fantasy back then. And there were tons of good MG books. In fact, I feel like the 80s was the golden age of MG. But not a lot of books that I would categorize as YA.
#47 - August 19, 2009, 05:54 PM

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