Monday, April 3, 2017
Welcome to Week Thirteen and Prompt
So this week we are tackling a few "genres" that seem to be skyrocketing in popularity. Be sure and check out all the readings and links listed in the syllabus!!
Young adult books are kind of on the fence between being a genre and not being a genre. Obviously, they are mainly supposed to be an age group, with different genres interspersed throughout. However, young adult books now tend to share certain characteristics that make them very popular among both teens and adults. These characteristics include a fast pace, likeable and young main characters who are facing issues that do not devalue or minimize the problems that teenagers face.
New Adult books are similar to YA - however the people are slightly older and there is generally more sex. They may be going to college for the first time or on a military deployment. Here's some information:
New Adult Alley: This is a popular new adult website that has a lot of titles and reviews.
Meg-a-Rae: This is a video podcast from an IUPUI grad, who has since moved on to another job. She and her co-worker discuss a couple of New Adult titles and the genre.
Betwixt and Between: A collection development article on the New Adult genre, I published a few years ago in the Library Journal.
Like Young Adult, graphic novels aren't really a genre, they are a format and they contain different genres. Graphic novels have been steadily increasing in popularity for years. Some of the works that you should know include the Watchmen, Maus, The Death of Superman, and Persepolis. All of these titles have had a great influence on graphic novels, and have helped to propel them from comic book status to award-winning stories in their own right. Many very popular novels or series of novels have been made into graphic novels as well - especially urban fantasy. Also, it's become a theme for some popular science fiction shows that have gone off the air to continue their series as graphic novels - Firefly for instance.
The main difference in doing RA for graphic novels is that you have to take the art style into consideration - many patrons enjoy a particular type of art and just want to read graphic novels that employ that particular style. If you have a difficult time following graphic novels, try reading Scott McCloud's book Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art. He explains some of the semiotics of comic books to help you understand how the artwork influences the story.
Week 13 Prompt
Though this week's group of "genres" all seem very different, they all have in common the fact that many people don't feel that they are legitimate literary choices and libraries shouldn't be spending money on them or promoting them to adults. The common belief is that adults still don't or shouldn't read that stuff. How can we as librarians, work to ensure that we are able to serve adults who enjoy YA literature or graphic novels? Or should we? I can't wait to read your thoughts on this. Thanks!