Saturday, April 14, 2012

Still hungry for the Hunger Games

The success of films based on books written for children or teens is one of the trends of the last couple of years. The film "Hugo" was honored with Academy Award nominations as well as good reviews and popularity last year. This year "The Hunger Games" was one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year and is a popular favorite with adults, teens and tweens (and even younger children who worm their way in to see it). Why this trend toward adults' welcoming children's materials? No one knows for sure, but the N.Y. Times has come up with a discussion of possible causes and effects.

Is it the strong plots and vivid dialog that seizes people's interest? Certainly YA books tend to move faster and have quicker resolutions than most literary novels. Popular books have always tended to be the ones that grab your interest on the first page and propel the reader forward. Are YA books the best books being written these days? Some people have suggested that the literary novel is a dying form and that may be true. The long, meandering ruminations on the meaning of life that used to appeal to people in books now appear mostly in blogs. One of the most appealing aspects of blogs is the chance for readers to comment. Are blogs the future of reading?

No one is closer to the secrets of the appeal of YA books than librarians. We should hear more from people out in the libraries. Why do adults read YA books? Does the shared interest bring adults and youth together? Let's hear from the people who know.

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