Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5 Reasons Why I Love MG/MG-YA Novels!

1. More exciting/original fantasy stories!
This is definitely a bias of mine, but it really seems to me that some of the most well-though-out fantasy storyworlds are in the MG books/series and the MG-to-YA crossovers. One of the kids I know said it's because "kids believe more stuff and don't need a lot of convincing."

2. The awesomeness of Rite-of-Passage
I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely love watching characters grow and mature.
I like being able to see them grow up as the greater, overarching story goes along.
A lot of times in Young Adult, the series timeline doesn't last longer than a year, or a few years at the most. Characters who begin as teenagers are usually still teens
(though perhaps older) at the story's conclusion. What's cool about a series like Harry Potter is being able to see the main characters grow up.

3. Cute love stories
If love stories are even part of the overall plot (and in a lot of MG series, they are not), they seem to be much sweeter: boy seems nicer to girl, girl seems nicer to boy, there's less likely to be elements such as love triangles (though this may loose some, I love it!). I really think a lot of the dialogue is better: my two favorite literary couples of all time happen to be from MG/MG-YA crossover series: Percy & Annabeth (Percy Jackson series) and Taran & Eilonwy (Chronicles of Prydain). There's also less of an overall focus on the love story part of the plot, and a bigger focus on ACTION!

4. BOYS!
A librarian once told me that in elementary and middle school, boys (overall) read more than girls, but by high school, girls read more than boys. The majority of true "YA" novels are either narrated by a girl, or have a girl as the main character. As a girl, I
kind of like this, but I also love that younger boys have an incredible amount of options available to them: Septimus Heap, Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson, Greg the "Wimpy Kid," Harry Potter, Eragon, Thomas (Wardstone Chronicles), Josh Newman (Secrets of Nicolas Flamel), etc.

5. "Seed Books"
Many, if not most, of modern books targeted at the "middle grade" audience can be enjoyed and devoured by older readers. And I definitely believe that there are more quality books out there being written and targeted specifically at young readers than when I was a kid.
I know that for me, my love of reading really took root when I was in the "middle-grade" age.
And I continued into the more teen-oriented branch of Young Adult Fiction (which I never outgrew). So I thank you, middle-grade novels and MG-YA cr
ossovers, for being the "seed" books that really get kids invested in reading. Those teens (and older) who read YA, I'm willing to bet, started out with you!


*MG/YA Crossover is my own vocabulary term for books that fall, I'd say, into both genres - "middle grade" because technically the characters may begin in that age group (11-13) - but gradually get over and become teens as the series progresses. The
Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series are the examples that immediately come to mind.

4 shout-outs!:

kate said...

This is an interesting post really I think we need more books like that

Jillian said...

I have to agree with you especially with your second reason. To me, it's so interesting to actually see kids and teens grow up in front of you as you read. And though I do love my adult/General Fiction, there is something special and unique about MG and YA like you said. It's also nice to just hear about crushes sometimes more than serious "love." It's a fresh take since adult books are a bit more focused on finding the love of your life, if that makes sense. Haha.

~The Book Pixie said...

This is an awesome post and I definitely agree with you. :)

~Briana

Jordyn said...

You bring up some really interesting points about books that make the transition from MG to YA, though I think it's a really hard thing to get published -- a series that essentially switches genres halfway through, which is probably part of the reason we don't have more of them.

 
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