There's no question young adult literature has become a cultural juggernaut, with the genre increasingly becoming a feeding ground for movie studios and more adults buying young-adult books than the intended teen audience. Whether it's sci-fi or dystopian, historical or realistic fiction, the field is burgeoning.
In celebration, the Los Angeles Public Library is launching YAy for YA!, a mini-convention for young-adult literature scheduled to coincide with Teen Read Week next week. The festivities kick off Monday and run at more than a dozen different public libraries in the L.A. system through the following Saturday, when the Central Library downtown will host back-to-back multi-author panels on various genres.
"YA is a booming area in publishing right now, but there's also a voracious audience for it," said Mary McCoy, acting senior librarian for the L.A. Public Library's Teen'Scape program at the Central Library, a space exclusively for teens that's staffed with four YA librarians. Since February, the Central Library has hosted a monthly teen reading series spearheaded by local young-adult author Cecil Castellucci, who is also the driving force behind YAy for YA!
Most of the participating authors live in the L.A. area. Many center their stories in and around the city, such as Jennifer Bosworth, who crafted the story line of "Struck" in a dystopian L.A. devastated by an earthquake, and Janet Tashjian's "For What It's Worth," set in Laurel Canyon during the '70s.