April 21, 2014

Monday Pep Rally: YA Before It Was Cool

Since we've all gotten so used to getting our thoughts down in 140 characters - and it's fun to keep the conversation flowing - we've take the Pep Rally to twitter! Every Monday, we host a twitter chat and we'd love you to join in. Just keep an eye out for the #MisfitPepRally hashtag!

First off, I'd like to clarify that I've always thought YA was cool. I've loved it from the moment I started reading it, devouring all of The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High books back in fifth grade. I've added lots of other genres to my reading list, but YA has never been replaced.

Having said that, we all know YA literature has changed over the last few years. I see comments all the time from readers and reviewers about how much richer YA is now, how much more complex the characters and story lines are, and general praise for how much it has developed and improved as a genre.

I wholeheartedly agree. The books that are on my shelves now are much different from the books I was reading when I was a kid. When I look back at the books I read when I was part of the targeted YA audience, I feel like many of them simply don't hold up against the books that are being published today. (DISCLAIMER: This does not mean I love Jessica and Elizabeth any less. At all.) 

Of course, there are still some great YA books that were published before this revolution in YA, like To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Ask Alice, and A Wrinkle in Time, just to name a few. One of my very favorite YA books, I Capture the Castle, was published in 1949. 

And now I'm curious--what are some of your favorite YA titles that have older publication dates? 

Head on over to twitter and use the #MisfitPepRally hashtag to share your tips!


Stephsco said...

I think there's more variety now, and definitely waaaay more quantity. I read Sweet Valley Twins (SV High never gelled with me, though I read those too because there were so many of them). My mind goes to classics like Little Women and The Bell Jar which were influential to me. The YA books I remember reading really weren't great; LJ Smith (Secret Circle based books), Christopher Pike. OK, Judy Blume was great.

Sarah Hipple said...

Going way back, I love L.M. Montgomery with Anne's saga, Emily, and Pat (I had a big thing for LM). Like Steph, I was thinking about Little Women too.

And, for me, Sabriel, which is now about 20 years old, is one of my all-time favorites, and it pre-dates the real popularity of the YA genre. Yea for YA!

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