Monday, May 25, 2015

Discussion Question Monday: Is YA Literature?


UGHHHHH..... I just realized it was Monday... (Thanks Memorial Day...) So yes! Continuing with this whatchamacallit.... Is YA literature?

I think this may be kind of biased since I read mostly young adult, but I'm going to do it anyway!

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why this is a discussion...why wouldn't YA be literature?

Here's the dictionary.com definition of literature:

"1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays."

I mean, aren't YA novels...novels? It kind of in the name?!?!?!? Also, there's obviously interest in their topics (you know, since people read them and turn them into movies).

There's also a more broad version of the definition on that same page (that, by the way, is way more to the point):

"Literature includes any type of writings on any subject."

Well if this is their definition of subject: "that which forms a basic matter of thought, discussion, investigation, etc.", then I'm pretty sure YA fits into this category. Since it is a writing...on a subject....which fits the definition of literature.....

I would also like to point out that YA novels are usually more for entertainment, not for headaches and obnoxious English teachers. Maybe it doesn't really matter if YA is technically "literature" or not, and it matters more that we have gotten thousands of kids into reading because we made it genuinely interesting for modern minds.

Thanks for reading? Do you think young adult novels are literature? Do you think this argument is pointless and stupid? Any opinion at all? IDK. Comment?

2 comments:

  1. I think it depends on how exactly you define literature. Is literature every book that's ever been published or just the few classics that are probably heard of world-wide?
    What generally comes to mind with the word 'literature' are all the classics... To Kill a Mockingbird e.t.c. If this is the case then I certainly don't think there's anything stopping YA books becoming literature - just because they're aimed at young people.

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    1. I do agree that when most people think of literature, they're most likely referring to the classics. Though the definitions I found don't mention time periods, so I'm not sure when exactly a book can become literature...based on how most people think of it.

      A lot of English teachers like to say that YA isn't literature, maybe because then they would have to teach about Divergent or something... But YA novels still do fit the current definitions of literature...so they are TECHNICALLY literature, even if they aren't exactly what we usually think of.

      Maybe we need to change the definition to fit how people think of the word?

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