Teen Lit Today
Teen literature took a beating in the mainstream press (Wall Street Journal, Gannett News Service papers, and NBC Nightly News) during the summer of 2005-and some of us working in the YA library world still feel the bruising. In this issue of Young Adult Library Services we offer an antidote for the book-loving, thoughtful, teen-respecting librarians working with young adults every day.
Young adult authors themselves speak out about how they present sexual feelings in fiction in YA author Marlene Perez's article "Going All the Way in Teen Lit" on page xx. Perez interviewed writers working and publishing right now, including Lara Zeises, E. Lockhart, Brent Hartinger, and Mary Pearson.
Teri Lesesne offers a round-up of groundbreaking current fiction and nonfiction that crosses genre lines, resulting in creative, memorable reads. You can join her on this genre-bending journey in her article and annotated reading list, beginning on page 17.
Diane Emge's survey of forty years of young adult literature documents the shift in the ways teen pregnancy has been presented. Her specific and thorough literature survey, on page 22, should prove to be a timeless resource. Amy Pattee's research piece points to young adult literature as being an important information source for teens questioning the multitude of changes-physical and emotional-in their lives.
As a special treat, we asked author Cynthia Leitich Smith ( Rain Is Not My Middle Name) to interview another author, David Lubar ( Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie). Sitting in on their conversation (page 12) is pure joy.
As a librarian, you know that the world of teen literature today is as complex, flighty, multi-layered, funny, sexy, serious, irreverent, and mysterious as the teens you serve. As a librarian, you probably also have an undeniable urge to access relevant, reliable references on this very subject. It's our hope that YALS will be a resource that provides insight into the real face of teen literature.