Monday, February 13, 2012

Good Press For YA

“The Fault in Our Stars” and “There Is No Dog”: Not kids’ stuff at Salon.

The author, Laura Miller, talks a bit about the mysteries of YA vs. adult book publishing. I have a question about this bit:

"It makes no sense that the maudlin goo that is “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” should be classified as a work for adults, when “The Fault in Our Stars,” a far more mature rumination on the same themes, is regarded as a children’s book. Likewise, why should grown-ups be subjected to the cutesy “The Life of Pi” while teenagers get to revel in an astringent fable like “There Is No Dog”?"

Is she saying that it would make more sense for the "maudlin goo that is “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”" and "cutesy “The Life of Pi”" to be published as children's books? Because, maybe, children's/YA is gooey and cutsie?

Sometimes when I read raves for particular YA titles from nonYA people, I get the sense that they are surprised, that the YA book they're loving rises above its peers. Take the title of this piece--"'The Fault in Our Stars' and 'There Is No Dog': Not kids’ stuff." In the context of the review, I'm reading "not kids' stuff" as a really good thing. Why is it good that children's books not be children's books?

I may, however, be reading a lot into this.

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