Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

Did you notice the difference between classic young adult books and new young adult books?

I noticed the classics (Ex.To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Outsiders) have a meaning, a message, and story that gives you something to think about. The more new young adult books like The Clique and Gossip Girl which are fun to read but, don't send a good message. I am I wrong? Did you notice a difference?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I would suggest looking at it from a different angle. As recenty as the 1950s and 1960s there were very, very few books intended for "Young Adults" in existence at all. (To Kill a Mockingbird, while read and loved by young adults, was intended as an adult book.) there was children's lit and adult fiction. Children's lit you had then (as now) vapid, popular series like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys (yes, they're fun but they are formulaic, just like Clique and Gossip Girl) that could be read by teens and then you had historical fiction and that was pretty much it.

    Big, Big breakthroughs came in the 1960s and 1970s. Everything from Harriet the Spy to Are you there god, it's me, Margaret - knocked down the doors of what was considered appropriate fare for young adult and older juvenile readers. For example, the sequel to Harriet the Spy is the first book for juveniles to mention a girl getting her period (and the book came out in the mid 1960s.) it was banned from many libraries, but within 10 yrs of it's publication you had Judy Blume's books taking on the same topics (about physical development and social injustice) and they were (while still controversial!) able to be popularized to a wide audience. Another example of this is Anne Frank; the Diary of A Young Girl, which as many people know excised all references to her development and they weren't put back in until now.

    So my point is that the entire category of Young Adult Literature didn't even exist until recently. As more and more "realistic" books (like The Outsiders and other SE Hinton books, Judy Blume books, or even Madeleine L'Engle's realistic books) became more and more popular and accepted, publishers started being more open to the idea that young adult books existed as it's own viable, strong category and the genre exploded. When I was a kid/teen in the 1980s, my library didn't even HAVE a teen section. I found books either downstairs in kids or scattered in Adults (usually in sci fi or fantasy.)

    now, however, the genre is amazing. You have series novels like Clique or Gossip Girls but you have fascinating sci-fi/dystopian novels like Lois Lowry's The Giver Series or Scott Westerfields books, you have stunning fantasy like Golden Compass and the last 4 Harry Potter books, you have gothic romances appropriate for YA (like the Stephenie Meyer books) instead of just Anne Rice or awful books like VC Andrews series. And yes, you have tons of serious writers writing serious fiction. Think about Meg Rosoff (How I live Now), Edward Bloor (Tangerine), Walter Dean Myers' books, The Book Theif - you just have so much to choose from!

    The main difference is what's popular and I think that it just takes time to see which books fall out of circulation and which books go on to become classics.

    I love that "The Outsiders" is a classic... ah, the 80s - I am getting old!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I know exactly what you mean. To Kill a Mockingbird, the Outsiders, The Giver all convey a deep message whereas Gossip Girl is just a book about some teenagers who are better off than others.

    Gossip Girl and other books like that are basically giving teens an idea, a dream, a fantasy of people who are better off and have more drama in life. It's like a soap opera. They're fun to read, like you said, but only for plot. It's unlike To Kill a Mockingbird where you have to read between the lines and figure out what is happening.

    Really, I like both types of books for different times and places.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes. Novels before were made to give the reader a good message and teach teenagers to be a good person. New young adult books relate to kids nowadays, with more personal topics that were probably considered very touchy subjects before. Both are good. The Clique (at least the first one) I found entertaining. Never read Gossip Girl...

    Not all young adult books now don't not send a good message. You can't group them together like that. And those particular books weren't really meant to create a good message, just meant to entertain.

  • 4 years ago

    Young adult novels are told from a teenager's perspective. Whereas adult fiction is told through the eyes of an adult. I suggest anything by Paulo Coelho, Jodi Picoult or Sarah Dunant like: ♦Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho ♦My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult ♦The Birth Of Venus by Sarah Dunant ♦Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen ♦The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ^easy to read literature for someone that's taking the leap from teen fiction to adult lit.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Very good. The new ones are filled with shallow young ladies who are stagnant. They do not learn a thing and they do not grow in any way. The two novels you mentioned beat the clique and gossip girls hands down. They are also realistic and show young people growing up and solving their problems. Stick to reading the old stuff.

    They're, Their, There - Three Different Words.

    Careful or you may wind up in my next novel.

    Pax - C

  • 1 decade ago

    I never read something like "To Kill A Mockingbird", but I have noticed that ALOT of the new young adult books are filthy. I can hardly pick one up nowadays that doesn't invole drugs, drinking, or a sex scene. It's getting harder to find young adult books that are worth reading.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I just finished reading Philip Pullman's, "His Dark Materials" trilogy. It can be found in the young adult section of the bookstore. I haven't read a series that made me think that much in a long, long time.

    Yes, there are teen "trash novels". There are also loads of adult trash novels that prove to be wildly popular amongst many well-read individuals. It's all a matter of taste.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, yeah. The classics were written in serious times when the world wasn't so complicated with the technology we have right now, which means that they are more concentrated on more meaningful things, rather than the things the new books of today focus on.

    In classics the characters grow & mature since they learn more & more from the things around them because technology wasn't there to block them. Now, those characters stay stagnant coz they fail to see that.

    Hope this helps:-)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I guess it all depends on what it is you're looking for in fiction.

    If you're looking for 'messages' or 'lessons,' I'm sure there are plenty out there, even modern ones, that have a message or lesson to them.

    Some just tell a story, and don't concern themselves with being moral or ethical guides for youth.

    I don't consider fictional literature to be a standard for teaching people, but more for entertaining them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hey! I'm reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" and it is good! I think I know what you mean. I think I saw an ad for one of those new books and they look like they're all about girls in cliques and useless drama. Like, "You stole my boyfriend!" and silly stuff like that...

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