Juvenile Fiction vs. Adult Fiction?

What is the difference between books that are written for teenagers and books written for adults? I have to write an essay that explains this subject (it has to be 8 pages). Any ideas?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    This isn't the first time I've answered this question. You keep asking so none of the previous answers must not inspire you enough...





    http://www.ischool.washington.edu/elm2/ Where_does_YA_literature_come_from.ppt




    Definition of a Young Adult Literature: Literature written for and marketed to young adults. Young adult literature is usually given the birth date of 1968 with the advent of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Other forms of literature prior to this date may have had young adult protagonists (such as Huck Finn), but it was usually intended for an adult audience. According to Beach and Marshall, characteristics of a young adult novel usually include several of the following:

    Ä a teenage (or young adult) protagonist

    Ä first-person perspective

    Ä adult characters in the background

    Ä a limited number of characters

    Ä a compressed time span and familiar setting

    Ä current slang

    Ä detailed descriptions of appearance and dress

    Ä positive resolution

    Ä few, if any, subplots

    Ä an approximate length of 125 to 250 pages

    What Is Not Young Adult (YA) Literature: "While young adults . . . will read 'classics' with teen protagonists--such as Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn . . . or Louisa May Alcott's Little Women or even William Golding's Lord of the Flies--such novels are not strictly considered YA literature. Similarly, contemporary novels popular with adults and young people, such as those written by Danielle Steel, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King, are also not in the category of YA literature." (Christenbury, Leila. Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Teacher of English Language Arts. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 1994.) The "classics" mentioned above do not fit into the young adult literature category because they were intended for adult audiences. The popular fiction of Steele, Clancy, and King usually have adult characters. Remember the two-part definition for young adult literature: ≥written for and marketed to young adults.≤

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I liked the long explaination above.

    If you have time to read it let's compare and contrast...

    Tamora Pierce's "Wild Magic" compared to say Andre Norton's "Beast Master" (although some might think this youngadult) or perhaps better Jane Lindskold's saga about wolves.

    All three have almost the same main plot. A coming of age story of a teenager who can talk to animals.

    All three books are "clean" .. pg to pg13 .. and adults will enjoy all three stories .. but you will see a serious boost in complexity from Pierce's work to Lindkold's novel. The plots and sub-plots and character development is much richer.

    Another place to compare and contrast is in the works of Robert A. Heinlein, in particular "Red Planet" vs "Stranger in a Strange Land"

    Both are set in the same "universe" and Red Planet is the Juvenile. It has some dark overtones, but by and large it is a "feel good" story. And the writing is simple.

    However "Stranger in a Strange Land" is very methaporical and allagorical. You have to have been around a bit to understand this. For example all of the names have meanings that match their characters.

    And also this is an example of an "adult" novel that although it does not describe in steamy detail sex scenes .. it questions our day to day culture in ways that have it banned in some libraries. What is god? What is marrage? What is love? What are friends? To Michael, our land is the strange land .. not his.

    Another and last for now example of this is "The Hobbit" contrasted with "the Lord of the Rings." "The Hobbit" is the juvenile .. although it is a bit rich to be compared to today's juvinles and "Lord the Rings" is the adult. If you don't want to read ..you can see it in the movies. Compare Rankin Bass's "Hobbit" to the recent "Lord of the Rings".

    The hobbit is a straight forward snatch and grab almost D&D story. It has echos of a richer story, but the characterizations are thin and the world is thin.

    The lord of the rings is so rich that it was the movie that made some things clearer to me.

    An example of an adult nuance that many people miss in "lord of the rings" is that both Gandalf the wizard and Galadriel the queen elf both felt that even though they were so powerful and champions of good that they did not have the moral strengh to carry the ring. And Frodo, morally strong for so long, would not have made it except for both Sam Wise and for the good act of saving the evil gollum .. a good act that actually saves the world.

    Hope this helps.

  • 1 decade ago

    Here are some differences, but these are generalizations and not always true:

    -Juvenile fiction often has a coming-of-age theme

    -Main characters are different ages (in juvenile fiction, the characters are usually the age of the audience or a little older)

    -Sentence structure, word choices, plot, characterization, etc., might be simplified for a younger audience (again, not always)

    -Book length can be different, with juvenile fiction sometimes being shorter

    These are some of the differences. They're not always true, of course. I hope this helps.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hmm, in juvenile fiction, the main characters would be a younger person. I wouldn't rule out adult themes, though--the book "Fade" is for young adults, but has some very adult parts. (And a great book it is, too!) and Harry Potter has death and murder, etc.

    So I'd say the biggest difference would be the age of the protagonist.

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  • keyz
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Let's see...

    Juvenile fiction won't have adult themes in it (drug abuse, sex, dysfunctional relationships). Many times juvenile fiction will revolve around growing up, discoveries as a child, "g-rated" adventures.

    Adult fiction can include themes that may include violence, sex, disfunctional relationships, and other material.

    Find some authors who wrote both juvenile and adult fiction. One author who comes to mind is Judy Blume. Read up on those authors and learn more about what they wrote and why they wrote it. This probably will give you more insight.

  • 3 years ago

    I the language common which skill short extremely descriptive sentences. How correct to the putting is it one which a teenager can fairly relate to. Is the plot a coming of age or good of passage? Why do I ask those questions via fact the flaws I record above are some popular traits of YA Literature. The specifics on person literature you may the two get from you mom and dad or while you're 18 circulate to the cyber sites under. while you're no longer ensure you circulate on your mom and dad for permission or have them look on the pages until eventually now you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hmm. You might start off by thinking, what interests an adult might not necessarily interest a teenager. Like Harry Potter for example. I know a lot of adults who have read it and liked it but I know a lot more kids who have become obsessed and have read those books like seven times each.

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