[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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