Support Teen Literature Day

Happy National Library Week! April 17 is "Support Teen Literature Day," which, in the words of the American Library Association (ALA), raises "awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens."

What sets young adult (YA) books apart from adult books? According to the ALA, YA books

  • may not be in traditional novel formats, but "welcome artistic innovation, experimentation, and risk-taking";
  • "recognize that young adults are beings in evolution, in search of self and identity"; 
  • meet developing literacy skills;
  • "offer readers an opportunity to see themselves reflected in its pages";
  • allow teens to see themselves as "a viable part of a larger community of beings who share a common humanity";
  • give teens "portraits of the lives - exterior and interior of individuals who are unlike the reader";

Finally, YA literature "equips readers for dealing with the realities of impending adulthood and for assuming the rights and responsibilities of citizenship."

Interested in reading some well-received young adult literature, but not sure where to start?
Cover image for Midwinter bloodTry an award-winner.

Midwinter Blood
 by Marcus Sedgwick won the 2014 ALA Michael L. Printz award for Excellence in Young Adult literature. The award "annually honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit" by the ALA, according to its website.

On the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed, a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood?

Cover image for The divinersWant something spooky?

YA author Libba Bray's The Diviners follows 17-year-old Evie O'Neill, exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926.

A rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

(The sequel, Lair of Dreams, will be released in August 2014.)

Cover image for The tempestHow about an old favorite - with a twist?

William Shakespeare's The Tempest takes on manga format, while still keeping the story intact.

The DC Public Library also has graphic novel versions of Pride and PrejudiceTreasure Island,Alice in Wonderland and more.

Need more suggestions?

Check out the ALA's 2013 "Best of the Best", or ask your neighborhood library's Teens librarian!