November 11, 2013

A Gaping Hole in YA Fiction: ROW80 Update

My November is shaping up to be an incredible month. I feel an energy I haven't felt in quite a while. And I like it.

As of yesterday, I was sitting at 17,396. Right on target. I'm particularly proud of that, because I don't usually write on weekends. Just too much going on. And I finally caught up with my sponsorship duties. I was three updates behind. Those are my only two A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) goals this month, so that's my big update.

But I'm interested to get some thoughts on something I experienced this weekend...

My middle daughter wanted a book. This in and of itself was a small miracle, as she is not a reader. * sniff, sniff * But to make it harder, she does not like paranormal, fantasy, or what she calls real life (think Sarah Dessen, Judy Blume). What she does like... mystery and historical fiction.

No problem, I thought. Perusing the shelves in Barnes & Noble produced nothing, so I went to the customer service desk. First one employee then two more came up, completely perplexed. "There really isn't anything in those genres that is teen or young adult." One lady suggested Philippa Gregory. I've only read The Other Boleyn Girl, but I didn't think it was appropriate for my sixth grader.

So, I wonder... is there a gaping hold in young adult fiction? At least on the traditionally published side. Anyone know of some YA/teen fiction that would fit the bill. And, of course, I would love some indie titles suggested. Ready, set, go...

Oh, and I promised a few New York City pictures. Not only do I feel rejuvenated by friendship, but it was awesome to see my girlfriend, Eileen, kick some NYC Marathon butt!

Wishing everyone an amazing week!


Beth said...

We liked The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It's mystery and historical fiction.

Anonymous said...

In the olden days, wasn't Nancy Drew the mystery series for that age?

Anonymous said...

Tia, except for some very old texts like Johnny Tremain and Birdy, I can't think of any good historical fiction for that age group. It is making my fingers itch, though, to be honest, to think there might be a market for all this history crammed in my head! :)

Great job on NaNo, and thanks for the NY pictures. I love NYC.

Have a wonderful week!
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

krystal jane said...

Hmm, how historical are we talking? Early 20th century or even earlier than that? Have you checked Goodreads. They have lots of books tagged as Ya Historical Fiction. Maybe you'll find something there. I feel less confident about their YA mystery list, but you can see if there's anything there that she would be interested in.

I know how you feel. When I was her age, I just read adult books. My mom seemed fine with it, but she did keep tabs on what I read for a little while.

Anonymous said...

I've become so frustrated with the current state of historical YA that I've pretty much stopped thinking of my historicals with young people as YA. They've started to feel more like adult books that just happen to focus on teens and preteens.

Jo Michaels said...

LOVE the pics, Tia! Looks like you had a great time :)

Check these out:

I read the one on Elizabeth (duh, I love her), the one on Marie Antoinette, and the one on Catherine the Great.

They're written as though the princess was keeping a hidden diary and it was found. They're really accurate to historical details, and if your daughter is a fan of history, she'll adore them. :)

My experience is this: Not many employees at B&N are serious readers. Remember, you gotta find the right person in the right department. To most, it's just a job. :)

I'm glad to see you're writing like mad. I'm with you on not writing on the weekends, so I'm in a mad rush to get my NaNo novel done. I can't wait to read what you come up with! Mine's winding down and I have a sense of sadness that I know is gonna leave me with a scene hangover after I write it. All in a day's work, I guess.


mmshaunakelley said...

I HIGHLY recommend the Libba Bray series that starts with A Great and Terrible Beauty. It's age appropriate, and historical fiction. There is a fantasy element to it, but I think it might work in spite. I am biased, though, being a rabid Libba Bray fan.