[DWJ] Titles (was London Meet)

Elizabeth G. Holtrop elizabeth at bouma-holtrop.com
Wed Jun 14 00:59:40 EDT 2006

Having been a child relatively recently, I well remember the alleged  differences between child and preteen.  Based on library and  bookstore brochures, summer reading club guidelines, book blurbs, and  all manner of other literature that earnestly and firmly categorized me:
  Ages 0 to about 5 don't count.  Steer their parents to the picture books, which is its own lucrative market.
  Ages 6 - 9 are children, that is, suitable for reading beginning chapter books.
  Ages 10 - 12 are preteen, that is, the intended audience for  pink/princess or pirate/wizard chapter books and teeny-bopper movie  adaptations of books.  Think Meg Cabot and, of course, Harry  Potter.
  Ages 13 - 16 are young adults (the nouns "teen" and "teenager" seeming  to have gone out of vogue).  Steer them to the YA section in the  library and let the YA librarians deal with them.  Other  librarians, in my experience, want nothing to do with people in this  age range.  The YA librarians will offer them anything from the  princess/pirate books also shelved in the children's section, to  possibly erotic or otherwise explicit novels written for the teenage  audience by well-meaning or simply money-hungry authors who claim that  they hope to help the next generation through adolescence.
  Ages 17 - 19 are no [wo]man's land.  People in this age range may  be found lurking anywhere from the children's department (reminiscing  over Dr. Suess?) to the YA shelves to the adult shelves.  If they  are in a small town library, the librarians will glower when they check  out adult novels (I'm not talking questionable content here; I'm  talking Agatha Christie paperbacks, with those lurid 1970's covers) and  insist on checking if they're over 18 and qualify to take out more than  15 books per week.  If theyre in a book store, sales clerks with  eagerly assist them in the hopes they have credit cards.  If  they're in a university or college city, they're in luck because  they'll blend with the crowds.
  Having currently reached the oh-so-grown age of 20, I look back on my  years of reading YA fiction with more than a little horror.  Why  didn't I know of DWJ back then??  I would have certainly preferred  her to a lot of the YA tripe I read.  I still have a major bone to  pick with the YA genre, including my annoyance with the fact that they  compartmentalize children and teenagers so energetically.
  Has anyone else noticed me, or am I overly sensitive?!
sally at sallyodgers.com wrote:  Judith Ridge writes: 

(although I would like back the 10
> minutes I spent on Madonna's "The English Roses").

I just read some reviews of this... and one reviewer says "it's more 
suitable for preteens than children". Um... what DOES she think a preteen 
is, if not a child? 


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