As part of my general self-improvement plan, I've been a little more conscientious about keeping up with my professional reading. Thus, I have finished the July/August issue of The Horn Book. It included a very interesting article by Patty Campbell on the Printz Award. The Printz Award is given for excellence in YA fiction. Campbell's article discussed the question of quality vs. popularity--awards being given for good quality writing that no one reads.
Which is not what I'm going to discuss today. I just wanted to let you know where I got the following quote. Campbell says:
It seems to me that for a book to be considered YA, the protagonist must be a teenager; there must be no extended introspective passages from an adult or child point of view; the book must be plot-driven with a minimum of description; it must give priority to immediacy and brevity; and the point of view must have the limitations of an adolescent perspective.....If a book violates even one of these rules, it is outside the parameters of the genre.
I found this very interesting since I think there is a lot of confusion about what YA is. I did find the business about the books being plot-driven instead of character driven a little disturbing, though, because I was under the impression that in adult literature plot-driven books are usually considered of a little lesser quality. Thus, if YA books must be plot-driven rather than character-driven, aren't they, by definition, of lesser quality? Aren't they forced to be of lesser quality in order to be considered YA?
Which seems self-defeating.