SEVEN CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE Seven Characteristics of Young Adult Literature. Characteristic #1: Young Adult Authors Write from the Viewpoint of Young People. Young adult literature is often written in the first person. In a young adult book that uses the first person narrative, the narrator usually begins the story as an unreliable source. The narrator grows with the story and by the end of the book the narrator becomes a reliable sources. The narrator moves from an unreliable source to a reliable source through their experiences in the story that lead to change in their character. The YA reader is allowed to live out life changing experiences safely through the narrator’s voice. A young adult narrator may tell the story of another who is not a young adult. A problem that may arise out of this characteristic is that when a young adult narrates a story it is deemed YA regardless of whether the story being told is a young adult or adult story. Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Characteristic #2: “Please, Mother, I Want the Credit!” The young adult protagonists solve problems for themselves without the help of their parents. Elderly relatives, mentors or friends may provide assistance to young adult protagonist. Young adult protagonist attempt to learn about an unknown parent. Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Characteristic #3: Young Adult Literature is Fast Paced. YA fiction may present characters that are a reflection of MTV or the Internet over role model characters for young adult audiences. YA fiction offers stories that are short and powerful as well as longer stories with more complex plots. This characteristic may present a problem as young adults will be left with fewer characters who are “role models.” Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Characteristic #4: Young Adult Literature Includes a Variety of Genres and Subjects. YA literature offers variety of genres (science fiction, romance, fantasy, historical fiction, ect.) Young adult literature includes all forms of literature including: nonfiction, poetry, biography, graphic novels ect. Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Characteristic #5: The Body of Work Includes Stories about characters from Many Different Ethnic and Cultural Groups. Themes that allow young adult readers and honest view of a diverse set of situations and issues from both a local and global perspective. Problems could arise as stories and situations from different ethnic and cultural groups may be considered taboo when viewed by a different culture or ethnic group. Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Characteristic #6: Young Adult Books Are Basically Optimistic, with Characters Making Worthy Accomplishments. Young adult protagonists are often smarter than the adults in the story. Young adult stories feature protagonists who will be respected by the young adult audience. A problem from this characteristic may arise as young adult protagonist who seems to know it all may offend adults. Characteristics of Young Adult Literature Characteristic #7: Successful Young Adult Novels Deal with Emotions That Are Important to Young Adults. Truthfully portrays emotions that are important to young adults. Themes include becoming self-aware, achieving self-identity and being responsible form one’s self. Reflect young adult emotional struggles. Problems may arise from this characteristic as stories may deal with mature language and content including: profanity, sexual content, violence, drug use, suicide, teen pregnancy, and abuse.