Saturday, January 24, 2015

Should Young Adult be renamed to Early Adult?

I recently came across a article discussing the idea that perhaps the Young Adult (YA) category should be changed.  Should it?  I tend to think so.  To me the name always sounded like it was geared towards teens and younger audiences.  While the genre is often defined as teen to early 20's, according to to Erik Erikson's stages of human development, it is generally a person in the age range of 20 to 40.  When one hears the name "Young Adult" what picture is generated in your mind?  I suspect it is of when you were in school or perhaps, just about ready to graduate.  Certainly not something that someone in their 20's or 30's would want to read.  Yet many books are written within the category for people of that age.

I have been giving it some thought, and how about Early Adult (EA)?  That (to my ears anyway) sounds like something that would cover a much broader range of audiences.  Teens would like the sound it as it sounds older to them, and those in their 20's or 30's wouldn't consider it a "kids book".

To be honest, I am surprised that anyone would come up with the name "Young Adult" for the range that it covers, not mention there already is a "Teen Fiction" category.  It just doesn't fit.  Early Adult certainly does a better job.  You want something simple for the reader to understand, not more complex.  Leave Teen Fiction for the teens and have Early Adult for the novels that fit anyone from teen to someone into their 30's and beyond.

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