The YA Genre

YA It’s hard to know what you will find in a Young Adult book. It seems the more of these you look at the more you notice the genre is dark. Kids go from pointing at the white mouse in “Goodnight Moon” to reading about kids being murdered in “The Lovely Bones” in a jiff. These books probably need warnings similar to movie warnings or ratings on their covers.
We have some 4-year old Illuminado prospects we interviewed recently and as preparation they were asked to read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. An acclaimed YA book. To hear 4-year olds give their opinions of how poverty, racism, alcoholism and even masturbation are used in this novel is a bit unsettling. Granted, these are advanced intellects, but they are like 3-feet tall.
We left a comic book (now called a graphic novel) in the waiting room for the candidate on deck to read. It was Patrick Ness’s “A Monster Calls.” It’s about coping with terminal cancer in the family, which in the YA category, is downright cheery. Know what your kid is reading. It may make them stronger or the star of next “We Need to Talk about Kevin” book.


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