Back to Back Issues Page
A youthful beginning-hello 2014!
January 07, 2014
Hi,

How have you been? I missed you all this while and I am so happy to be writing to you again Yes, Book Lovers Club News is back after a hiatus of 12 months. And what a good time to begin the journey again! Wishing all Book Lovers Club members a brilliant and sparkling 2014.

Over the next few issues we will be discussing young adult literature, its themes, history, aspects and challenges.

Young Adult Literature

The Fault In Our Stars While the distinguishing boundaries are blurred, young adult literature is roughly defined as that literature which is written and marketed to the young adult reader. It has a young adult (typically between 10 and 18 years) for a protagonist and the story talks about events from this young adult’s perspective. The volume of the work is less than 300 pages and ends with a positive note. Unlike children’s literature however, it does not have a fairy tale like ‘happily ever after’ ending.

Themes in YA literature have to do with the conflicts that typically concern young adults. In recent times they deal with drug and sexual abuse, parental control, personal growth and other such motives. In fact parents are almost absent in many cases.

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, written as early as 1387 can be taken as one of the earliest works in the YAL category. Aesop’s Fables, written in 1484 is another early work written with the young adult reader in mind. Alice in Wonderland in 1865, and Little Women in 1868 are popular YAL works of the 19th century. Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Jungle Book and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea are other seminal works written during this time. In the early 20th century, The Hobbit and The Catcher in the Rye are canonical pieces.

The importance of reading as a form of entertainment amongst the youth had been on a decline in the 20th century. This was due to technological advances in television, radio and digital entertainment. Towards the end of 1990s, the launch of the Harry Potter series reversed this trend to a great extent. Reading became a craze with young adults as Harry Potter gained a tremendous fan following. Teenagers and even children were reading books that were thicker than 300 pages!

Book Review Circle gossip

The last few decades have witnessed an upsurge in the volume of marketing spends targeted at young readers. Fan clubs, events, film sequels, gaming software and merchandise have been used to attract young adults toward reading fiction that talks specifically and only to them. However, this kind of literature has also faced flak from critics on grounds of being frivolous, fantastical and therefore without any literary merit.

Book Review Circle suggested read:

You would only be too familiar with the game changer in young adult literature:the Harry Potter series. Here is something you could read for a different flavour, The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

Test your Literary Quotient

See if you know answers to the following:
  1. Name the protagonist of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  2. The protagonist of Jungle Book is ‘Mowgli’. What does his name mean?
  3. Name 2 other works by Chaucer, the author of The Canterbury Tales

Answers

  1. Captain Nemo
  2. The Frog
  3. Troilus and Criseyde, and Parliament of Fowls
Do write in to me at feedback@book-review-circle.com with your comments, updates and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ok. I will leave you to munch on that.

Happy reading till we meet again.

Ashmita

Back to Back Issues Page