We begin the semester in this class talking about the challenges in defining the terms in this field: What exactly is a young adult? And what counts as literature? And how are these terms influenced by the culture they exist in and the contexts in which they’re used? The difficulty in defining some of these terms is what led to me asking you to collaborate on the keyword wiki, which I think is off to a great start.
As further evidence of how tricky these terms can be, I offer this piece from NPR into evidence. A couple of years ago, some of the writers at NPR conducted a survey of listeners/readers, asking them to identify the best young adult novels (or “teen novels” in the parlance they chose). Here are the top ten from this list: