What is Young Adult Literature?

According to a list I read by Mertz & England, 1983, there are ten things that make a book YA worthy. After I read the list, the first thing I thought was “So…they have all the characteristics of a smartalec teenager who thinks they’re invincible?” 😂 But for real…here are a few things I found important on that list.

For one, the point of view is usually that of an adolescent and how they perceive what is going on in the book and they always are going through some major life change. Another big thing I noticed is that there can be gradual changes to the main character and sometimes changes that should happen but don’t fully develop. The main character also tends to reap the consequences of what happens in the book. It also said that the setting is usually short and brief; as in its not about their whole life, just a section of it.

I am currently reading Monster by Walter Dean Myers, and as I was reading through the list of things that make a book fit into YA literature, I was fitting that book into the list. Monster is a limited setting/time frame of when the boy is on trial for murder. He is young, 16. He is hanging with the wrong crowd and gets in major trouble for it (consequences).  I am also thinking back to other young adult novels I have read and can see how this list makes YA books predictable.

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