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10.27.2010

YA Shelves

Here's an excerpt from an article on dystopian fiction over at Popmatters:

It’s possible YA shelves act as a sort of magic 8 ball for the rest of the literary scene because they are so unbiased. Few bookstores break their YA sections into defined genre shelving. Sure, there are series shelves, and some very broad genre shelving, usually associated with age breakdown. Beyond these, though, most YA books are shelved in alphabetical order. Magic realism lives next to humor, which cuddles up to romance, which nudges sword and sorcery. Most teens, too, are open about their reading choices—when was the last time you heard a teenager claim they prefer Jack Q. McWriterson’s less mainstream, more critical earlier work?

I knew there was a reason I loved that stuff. Have I not always been talking about genre-melding? The beauty of the young adult section is that sci-fi, suspense, and serious all sit right next to each other, on an equal playing field. Of course, they have their cover art to distinguish them, but there's no implicit division of worth or quality based on their location. Thank you.

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