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Last Updated: October 17, 2011

Young Adult Literature: Is current young adult literature appropriate for teen readers?



Introduction

SUPPORTERS ARGUE

Current young adult novels are tackling challenges teenagers face in realistic and honest ways. Teenagers can identify with characters in such novels and use them as role models for facing their own challenges. Banning such books from libraries or attempting to keep young people from reading them is tantamount to censorship and is counterproductive.

OPPONENTS ARGUE

Books for teenagers have become dark, graphic, and gruesome to an unprecedented degree. Young adult literature that dives into disturbing topics such as suicide, addiction, and self-mutilation has the potential to depress and dangerously influence teenagers, who are more impressionable than adult readers. Parents and librarians should screen books for young adult readers more actively.




Issues and Controversies: Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series

Sipa via AP Images

Two young girls in a Paris store pick up the latest book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, in spring 2010.

In early June 2011, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial written by book critic Meghan Cox Gurdon, questioning what she saw as a disturbing trend toward "darkness" in young adult, or YA, literature. Pointing to novels that revolve around topics such as self-injury and rape, she wrote:

How dark is contemporary fiction for teens? Darker than when you were a child, my dear: So dark that kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings are now just part of the run of things in novels directed, broadly speaking, at children from ages of 12 to 18.

Soon after its publication, Gurdon's article prompted a fierce backlash in blogs and on the microblogging website Twitter; YA novel authors and their fans accused Gurdon of promoting book banning and censorship, calling her criticism variously "ignorant," "narrow-minded," and "idiotic." The American Library Association (ALA) wrote a letter to the Journal in response to her column, arguing that Gurdon's attitude "encourages a culture of fear around YA literature." Other observers, however, jumped to her defense, insisting that YA novels had indeed become too dark, gruesome and filled with situations and themes too adult and depressing for teenage readers.

YA novels often feature teenage protagonists coming of age and overcoming hurdles, maturing or learning life lessons as a result. For much of the history of YA literature, librarians, teachers and parents have debated what content is appropriate for teenage readers. Over the past few decades some of the most popular YA novels have stirred controversy for sexual content and use of profanity. Some observers have noted that recent YA novels seem to be pushing boundaries even further by abandoning generic teenage plotlines of young love and friendship for darker and even apocalyptic themes. Katie Roiphe, an assistant professor of journalism at New York University in New York City, writes, "Until recently, the YA fiction section at your local bookstore was a sea of nubile midriffs set against pink and turquoise backgrounds. Today's landscape features haunted girls staring out from dark or washed-out covers." Pointing out that "current young-adult best sellers include one suicide, one deadly car wreck, one life-threatening case of anorexia and one dystopian universe in which children fight to the death," Roiphe opines, "Somewhere along the line our teenagers have become connoisseurs of disaster."

Have YA novels become too dark? Does today's YA literature contain themes too disturbing for young readers, or does it provide struggling teenagers plotlines with which they can relate?

Supporters of recent trends in YA literature argue that "dark" novels are merely a form of escapism for teenagers who are facing real-life challenges. Furthermore, they contend, such stories can provide coping mechanisms and present characters with whom readers can identify. Some defenders note that YA novels that have been banned or declared obscene in the past are now considered classics, and current novels are not necessarily any darker or more disturbing than what teenagers see in the world around them. Banning books from libraries or censoring them, supporters maintain, is wrong.

Opponents of recent trends in YA literature argue that novels for teenagers have become too dark, gruesome and explicit. Novels that portray, for example, drug use, life-threatening eating disorders or self-inflicted injury in detail could potentially send the message to teenage readers that such behavior is normal. Critics contend that because teenagers are particularly sensitive and impressionable, novels written for this group should contain messages of hope and feature characters who can provide positive role models, rather than dwelling on dark, dystopian themes. Such graphic and gruesome novels, they insist, can leave deep and lasting impressions on teenagers' minds.

Early History of YA Literature

Mass-produced popular YA literature is historically a relatively recent phenomenon. Before the 19th century, most literature intended for children and teens was religious and moralistic in nature. Even as late as the 1870s, some librarians and educators thought young readers should not be exposed to fiction. In 1876, the ALA held a meeting on whether librarians should provide fiction for young readers. According to Alleen Nilsen and Kenneth Donelson, emeriti English professors at Arizona State University in Tempe, one librarian at the conference approved of a school principal's judgment that the "voracious devouring of fiction commonly indulged in by patrons of the public library, especially the young, is extremely pernicious and mentally unwholesome." 

Nevertheless, young people read fiction, and debates ensued among librarians, teachers and parents concerning which novels those young readers should be exposed to. In 1919, Mabel Williams became the first YA librarian in the U.S., appointed at the New York Public Library to work with schools and develop the YA book section. In the 1920s and 1930s, series such as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries were popular among young readers. Starting around that time, publishing houses began to create "juvenile" divisions, to address the market that fell between children and adult readers. According to Nilsen and Donelson, such books "dealt almost exclusively with white, middle-class values and morality," had endings that were "almost uniformly happy and bright" and never touched the "taboos" of sexuality, profanity or protests against social norms.

Themes in YA literature, however, changed dramatically over the next several decades. Washington Post contributor Valerie Strauss writes, "A hundred years ago, books for kids were dominated with stories about boys having adventures and girls finding husbands; then, from the 1950s to the 1970s, the themes were emerging sexuality and parental conflict." In 1951, J. D. Salinger published The Catcher in the Rye, told from the perspective of an unhappy prep school teenager named Holden Caulfield. For years after it was published, the book generated controversy because of its use of profanity and sexual content. It is now considered to be a classic, however; the publisher Modern Library named it one of the best novels of the century in 1998. Although The Catcher in the Rye was not written or marketed as a YA novel, it has been assigned to high school students and has been a favorite among young readers for decades.

According to Michelle Ann Abate, an associate professor of English at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, "children's literature has long engaged with weighty cultural issues, complex sociopolitical concerns, and even graphic violence." The 1960s and 1970s, however, did produce what Abate calls a "transformation" in YA literature. She writes, "Fueled by societal beliefs that adults ought to be more honest and open with children, new narratives began pushing the boundaries of acceptable themes and suitable subject matters." S. E. Hinton's 1967 novel The Outsiders, for example, addressed violence, class tensions and juvenile delinquency in two rival teenage groups.

The 1970s, in particular, was seen as an innovative and groundbreaking decade in YA literature. Judy Blume, who wrote some of the decade's most notable books for young people, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970) and Forever (1975), was one of the first YA authors to address topics such as teen sex, racism, puberty and bullying. Her novels were extremely popular but have also been among the most challenged books, according to the ALA, as many parents and community groups have attempted to remove or restrict access to them in public or school libraries. Similarly, Robert Cormier's 1974 novel The Chocolate War, which also addresses teenage sexuality, was hailed by some reviewers as one of the best YA novels ever published; it also ranks high on the ALA's list of most challenged books. Also among the most controversial and famous 1970s novels was Go Ask Alice, an anonymous work published as the diary of a teenage girl who experiences rape, drug addiction and, eventually, a fatal overdose. [See Parents Challenge Young Adult Fiction at Libraries (sidebar)]

The YA literature market continued to grow in the 1980s, along with the development of gender-specific series marketed primarily to girls. In 1983, author Francine Pascal published the first book in the Sweet Valley High series, about the lives of twin girls who attend high school in California. The series, eventually written by a team of ghostwriters, was extremely popular and generated more than 150 books. Some librarians and reviewers, however, criticized the books as shallow.

By the 1990s, YA literature had become an institutionalized subdivision of fiction. In 1996, the National Book Foundation, an association that honors writers selected by panels of other writers, established an award category for Young People's Literature. Teenage readers themselves have also become more vocal judges of YA literature. The ALA, for example, requests teenagers' opinions on the novels they have read before releasing its annual list of Best Books for Young Adults.

Issues and Controversies: Best-Selling Young Adult Novels, September 2011 (chart)

Recent Young Adult Novels Stir Controversy

The teen fiction market grew even more after 2000. National bookseller Barnes & Noble, for example, reported double-digit growth in YA book sales from 1999 to 2005. Michael Cart, a YA book reviewer, calls the current decade a "golden age of young adult literature" and told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2007, "Kids are buying books in quantities we've never seen before, and publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven't seen since the1940s." As sales boomed along with the market for teen fiction, however, the debate over the content of that literature intensified.

Recent popular YA novels described by some observers as particularly dark or gruesome include Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why (2007), Gayle Forman's If I Stay (2009) and The Hunger Games (2008), the first novel in a series by Suzanne Collins. Thirteen Reasons Why is written from the perspective of a junior in high school who has killed herself by overdosing on pills after sending recordings to 13 people blaming them for her suicide. If I Stay describes a teenage girl's gruesome car wreck and her decision whether to join her parents in the afterlife or return to her body, which she sees lying mangled below. The Hunger Games, one of the best-selling YA series in recent years, is a postapocalyptic story of a televised game that pits teenagers against each other to fight to the death. Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls (2009) and Cheryl Rainfield's Scars (2010) are even more controversial. Wintergirls describes a girl who starves and cuts herself after her best friend dies of bulimia. Scars, similarly, describes a girl who engages in self-mutilation as a means of coping with past abuse.

In addition to topics such as addiction, rape and self-mutilation, some observers have also expressed concern about sexual content in recent YA novels. Books that have particularly alarmed parents include Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl, a series first published in 2002 about the romances and infighting among a group of upper-class New York City teenagers, later made into a television series by the CW network. Gossip Girl and The Clique (2004), the first novel in a YA series written by Lisi Harrison about a group of wealthy and exclusive middle school girls, have also prompted accusations that the books teach readers to be materialistic and mean.

Another controversial trend has been the prevalence of vampires in teen fiction. Most notable is Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, published from 2005 to 2008. Many parents have hailed Twilight for sending a message of sexual abstinence until marriage, as the vampire Edward, who is about 100 years old and thus from a different era, refuses to dishonor the novel's protagonist, Isabella "Bella" Swan, by sleeping with her before they are married. Other vampire YA series, such as P. C. and Kristin Cast's House of Night and Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy, have prompted challenges for their sexual content. [See Young Adult Vampire Series Stir Controversy (sidebar)]

Some observers have suggested that, today, YA literature seems to be written for and marketed to older teenagers than in the past. Holly Koelling, a librarian in King County, Washington, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "There has been an increase in the age of the protagonist, the complexity of the plotting and…the gravity of the content. I think it may be a reflection of a more sophisticated teenage population."

Others have suggested that, perhaps, YA fiction is becoming darker and, in some cases, more graphic to compete with the violence and terror in everyday media. Andrew Clements, the author of several children's novels, writes in the New York Times:

Perhaps the dystopian stories of today are darker because all of us, writers and readers alike, have become more aware of the many awful things that happen in our world. A study of world history shows that truly awful things have always happened. In our current media-saturated lives, however, every single awful thing that happens anywhere is pressed upon us in full-color, live-action images, both instantaneously and repetitively. In order for a book to seem scary today, it has to be very scary indeed.

Some have argued that close attention to the content of YA literature is particularly important because of how the teenage brain is wired. Karen Coats, an English professor at Illinois State University in Normal, has integrated neuroscience into her research to see how teenagers read. According to Coats, the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain that is in charge of reasoning and risk assessment, experiences a dramatic growth just before puberty and then reorganizes itself through the teenage years. As a result, Coats argued at a 2010 conference, "teens are more likely to respond to situations emotionally, and they are less likely to consider consequences through rational forethought."

Researchers such as Coats and Shirley Brice Heath, a linguistic anthropologist at Stanford University in California, have used brain imaging to see how reading can trigger certain parts of the brain, possibly leaving a lasting effect. Maria Nikolajeva, a professor of children's literature and critical theory at Cambridge University in England, organized a conference in September 2010 to discuss the effects of current adolescent literature on young peoples' brains. According to Nikolajeva, "[A]ll readers' brains are changed after they have read a book, but teenage brains are especially perceptive and therefore vulnerable."

Issues and Controversies: Challenges to Library Books, 1990-2010 (chart)

Supporters Argue: 'Dark' Young Adult Novels Help Teenagers 

Supporters of current trends in YA literature argue that books dealing with difficult issues help prepare readers for life's challenges. Christopher John Farley, an editor at the Wall Street Journal, writes, "Novels can help provide kids with a moral architecture to house ideas about the world. If they are steered away from books that deal with issues they may face…they may be denied the intellectual tools to deal with vexing problems."

Defenders of YA fiction contend that some of the more realistic scenarios in "dark" YA novels accurately represent what many teenagers are actually experiencing. Sherman Alexie, the author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a novel that portrays the challenges an American Indian teenager faces when he attends a mostly white school, responded to Gurdon's allegations in a June 2011 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, asking:

Does Ms. Gurdon honestly believe that a sexually explicit YA novel might somehow traumatize a teen mother? Does she believe that a YA novel about murder and rape will somehow shock a teenager whose life has been damaged by murder and rape? Does she believe a dystopian novel will frighten a kid who already lives in hell?

Rather, novels that depict traumatic experiences can help teenagers cope with their own challenges, supporters argue. Alexie writes, "When I think of the poverty-stricken, sexually and physically abused, self-loathing Native American teenager that I was, I can only wish, immodestly, that I'd been given the opportunity to read…any of the books that Ms. Gurdon believes to be irredeemable." He adds, "I can't speak for other writers, but I think I wrote my YA novel as a way of speaking to my younger, irredeemable self."

Even teenagers with more mundane problems than the characters in the YA novels they read can still relate to those characters, proponents contend. Roiphe writes, "Unsettling as it is, there is a certain amount of comfort to be gleaned from the new disaster fiction; it makes readers feel less alone." While the dramatic scenarios in some of the books may seem "uncommon and overwrought," Roiphe notes, "it seems that the extreme and unsettling situations chronicled in these books are, for many teenagers, accurate and realistic depictions of their inner lives."

Some advocates have maintained that the so-called darkness in YA literature is merely a form of escapism, no different from what fantasy fiction has provided for generations. Scott Westerfeld, the author of several YA books, writes in the New York Times, "The system is asking a lot from teenagers and not giving them much respect in return, so it's no wonder that stories about that system exploding, breaking down under its own contradictions, or simply being overrun by zombies are also beloved of teenagers. What is the apocalypse but an everlasting snow day?"

Furthermore, in a time of political, environmental and economic uncertainty, YA fiction with dystopian or disaster themes may seem relevant to young people, supporters argue. Roiphe writes, "[T]he motif of impending disaster—about a job that will be lost, a house that will be foreclosed, a case of swine flu that will sweep through the nation—looms large in our culture, and it may be no coincidence that the dominant ambiance of young-adult literature should be that of the car crash about to happen."

Others have argued that calls for "lighter" YA fiction reflect adults' inability to grasp the challenges some teenagers face. Alexie writes, "When some cultural critics fret about the 'ever-more-appalling' young adult books, they aren't trying to protect…the poor from poverty. Or victims from rapists." Rather, "They are simply trying to protect their privileged notions of what literature is and should be. They are trying to protect privileged children."

The books that critics such as Gurdon consider controversial are no different from books that were challenged in past generations and then became cultural mainstays, supporters insist. Farley writes, "Books such as 'The Catcher in the Rye' which seemed radical in some ways for their times now just seem honest and traditional. Books that some critics once considered pathological or antisocial or worse are now commonly considered classics."

Indeed, proponents contend that books containing darker than normal themes are not necessarily bad literature. Linda Holmes, an entertainment editor at National Public Radio (NPR), writes that she "took an entire class in high school [in which] we read books about killing your family, double suicide, drowning, being murdered in your bed…it was called 'Shakespeare,' I believe."

Furthermore, advocates argue that banning such books from libraries or attempting to censor them does not solve what some see as the problem posed by today's YA literature. Holmes writes, "Banning is banning, not guidance…. Even for parents acting with regard to their own kids, the act of one human being actually preventing another human being from reading a book is a grave decision." She adds that "stopping—actually stopping—a YA reader from picking up a particular book because it describes behavior you don't want him to emulate potentially cuts him off from something that might reach him."

Some advocates have suggested that teenagers are interested in books that address real problems because they are interested in helping their generation solve those problems. Patricia McCormick, the author of YA books, including Cut, a book about self-mutilation, told NPR:

[P]art of the reason they want to read books about homophobia or trafficking or alcoholism or teen pregnancy or whatever…is because they are curious about finding solutions. So I think along with reading those books with them, [we should] join them in efforts to address things like homelessness, teen pregnancy, incest, violence, that sort of thing, rather than take aim at the books, to join where they are on their quest to make the world a better place.

Opponents Argue: 'Dark' Young Adult Novels Hurt Teenagers

Critics of recent YA literature argue that the tendency of such books to dwell on the dark and gruesome is unprecedented. Gurdon writes, "Pathologies that went undescribed in print 40 years ago, that were still only sparingly outlined a generation ago, are now spelled out in stomach-clenching detail. Profanity that would get a song or movie branded with a parental warning is, in young-adult novels, so commonplace that most reviewers do not even remark upon it."

Such books do not portray life's challenges, but rather dwell on and exaggerate them to a potentially traumatizing extent, opponents contend. Gurdon writes, "If books show us the world, teen fiction can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is.… [A] careless young reader—or one who seeks out depravity—will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds."

Critics reject the argument that teenagers who might be in pain want to read books where characters are also miserable. Author Ru Freeman writes in the Huffington Post, "[H]aving been a hungry kid, I don't think [hungry kids] are begging to read about starvation. I have been the child at the receiving end of violence and I…can assure you that, growing up, I did not sit around wishing I could read about the hardships I was undergoing." She adds, "Suffering is just that, suffering. There is nothing glorious or noteworthy about it.… The last thing that one should do for a child who has suffered is to introduce them to a little more of the same."

Such dark images of suffering and violence can leave deep and lasting impressions on young peoples' minds, opponents insist. Freeman questions "how any book that is filled with gore that runs the gamut from rape to incest to addiction to murder and every variance in between, without any of those things being absolutely essential to the development of character or plot, can be lauded as being a solid addition to the life of the mind for a child." She also contends that "the violence of words and images…once they take up residence in our heads, cannot be erased."

Books that dwell on or even glorify harmful activities, such as drug use or self-mutilation, could potentially influence young readers to mimic that behavior, critics argue. Gurdon writes:

[I]t is also possible—indeed, likely—that books focusing on pathologies help normalize them, and in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures. Self-destructive adolescent behaviors are observably infectious…. That is not to discount the real suffering some young people endure; it is an argument for taking care.

Even YA books that are not as "dark" as others, opponents insist, are sending the wrong messages to youths. Referring to YA series such as Gossip Girl or Clique, which tend to focus on young rich girls and designer clothes, author Naomi Wolf writes in the New York Times that such books promote "a value system in which meanness rules, parents check out, conformity is everything and stressed-out adult values are presumed to be meaningful to teenagers. The books have a kitsch quality—they package corruption with a cute overlay."

Because their brains are still developing, teenage readers in particular are likely to be sensitive to, and potentially changed by, disturbing reading material, critics argue. Nikolajeva told the Washington Post that adults can "take distance from what we read or see. For teenagers," she continues, "it's all real and close." She said, "[T]eenage brains lack the ability to make judgments…. Not because they are stupid, but because their brains are wired like that. Because they are socially and emotionally unstable."

Critics point out that the actual choices teenage readers make are likely to be affected by the behavior portrayed in the books they read, because their brains are so impressionable. Jane Brown, a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, "Teen readers are likely to be very involved or engaged or what we call 'transported' by the narrative," and such a reader "would be more likely to engage in the kind of behavior she is reading about." As a result, writers of YA fiction need to choose their subject matter and words more carefully, critics warn.

But instead of using their influence to teach valuable lessons, such books provide horrible role models for young people and encourage bad behavior, opponents maintain. Tina Harden, a parent in Longwood, Florida, who refused to return the Gossip Girl books her daughter had checked out of the library after reading references to marijuana and sleeping with a teacher, told the Orlando Sentinel, "The whole book was filled with everything I don't want my daughter to do or be."

Parents who do not want their children to read dark-themed YA literature are not dictatorial censors, critics argue, just good parents. Gurdon writes that the decision about what a young person reads "has more to do with a child's happiness and tenderness of heart, with what furnishes the young mind. If there is no frigate like a book, as Emily Dickinson wrote, it's hardly surprising that parents might prefer their teenagers to sail somewhere other than to the lands of rape, substance abuse and mutilation."

Future of Young Adult Literature: Applying a Rating System?

Some observers have suggested applying a rating system—similar to those governing movies and video games—to YA novels. Washington, D.C., bookstore Politics & Prose has tried that approach, creating a PG-15 book section that might contain content inappropriate for younger readers. Others want some books put on restricted shelves in libraries so underage patrons would need parental consent to check them out. [See Movie Ratings]

In addition to the content of YA books, observers have also debated whose responsibility it is to govern access to that content. Many observers have suggested that parents of young teenagers read books ahead of time to approve them for their children. Others argue librarians should screen the books they put in the YA section more strictly, but some librarians have protested that doing so could amount to censorship. In the meantime, librarians, reviewers, parents, and teenage readers will continue to debate what subject matter is desirable in YA literature.

Bibliography

Abate, Michelle Ann. "A Role for Children's Literature." New York Times, December 26, 2010, www.nytimes.com.

Adler, Margot. "For Love of Do-Good Vampires: A Bloody Book List." National Public Radio, February 18, 2010, www.npr.org.

Alexie, Sherman. "Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood." Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2011, online.wsj.com.

Clements, Andrew. "What Poe's Publishers Could Not Imagine." New York Times, December 26, 2010, www.nytimes.com.

Farley, Christopher John. "Should YA Books Explore Difficult Issues?" Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2011, online.wsj.com.

Freeman, Ru. "I'm With Meghan Cox Gurdon." Huffington Post, June 21, 2011, www.huffingtonpost.com.

Goodnow, Cecelia. "Teens Buying Books at Fastest Rate in Decades." Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 7, 2007, www.seattlepi.com.

Gurdon, Meghan Cox. "Darkness Too Visible." Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2011, online.wsj.com.

———. "My 'Reprehensible' Take on Teen Literature." Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2011, online.wsj.com.

Holmes, Linda. "Seeing Teenagers as We Wish They Were: The Debate Over YA Fiction." National Public Radio, June 6, 2011, www.npr.org.

Moskowitz, Clara. "Good Girls and Vampires: 'Twilight' Altering Teen Minds?" MSNBC, September 14, 2010, www.msnbc.com.

Roiphe, Katie. "It Was, Like, All Dark and Stormy." Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2009, online.wsj.com.

"Some Teen Books Surprisingly X-Rated, Study Finds." Fox News, July 6, 2011, www.foxnews.com.

Strauss, Valerie. "How 'Twilight,' Other Dark Fiction Affect Teen Brains." Washington Post, September 4, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com.

Tobin, Lucy. "University Conference Sinks Its Teeth into Vampire Fiction." Guardian, April 6, 2010, www.guardian.co.uk.

"The Dangers, Values of Dark Teen Lit." National Public Radio, June 14, 2011, npr.org.

"YA Author Apologizes to 'Wall Street Journal' Critic." National Public Radio, July 6, 2011, npr.org.

Wolf, Naomi. "Young Adult Fiction: Wild Things." New York Times, March 12, 2006, www.nytimes.com.

Additional Sources

Additional information about YA literature can be found in the following sources:

Cart, Michael. Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism. Chicago, Ill.: American Library Association, 2010.

Nilsen, Alleen, and Kenneth Donelson. Literature for Today's Young Adults. 8th ed. Boston, Mass.: Pearson Education, 2009.

Contact Information

Information on how to contact organizations that either are mentioned in the discussion of YA literature or can provide additional information on the subject is listed below:

American Library Association
50 East Huron
Chicago, Ill. 60611
Telephone: (800) 545-2433
Internet: www.ala.org

National Book Foundation
90 Broad Street, Suite 604
New York, N.Y. 10004
Telephone: (212) 685-0261
Internet: www.nationalbook.org

New York Public Library
455 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10016
Telephone: (212) 340-0863
Internet: www.nypl.org

Keywords

For further information about the ongoing debate over YA literature, search for the following words and terms in electronic databases and other publications:

Hunger Games
Meghan Cox Gurdon
Robert Cormier
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
Wintergirls

Citation Information

"Young Adult Literature: Is current young adult literature appropriate for teen readers?" Issues & Controversies, Infobase, 17 Oct. 2011, https://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID=2144. Accessed 22 Jan. 2020.