Journal Entry # 11
Now that you have read a number of works for young adults, identify characteristics of this genre. Reflect on the similarities and differences with more traditional works.
YAL is written for and about young adults. The protagonist in YAL is young, realistic, and someone who young adult readers can relate to. The other characters such as adults or parents are often undeveloped and they are presented through the eyes of the protagonist. YAL usually deals with issues which are related to young adults such as friendship, inner and outer conflicts, dealing with peer pressure, searching for identity, dealing with parents and other adults in authority, dealing with drugs, alcohol, and sexual experimentation.
The language and register used in YAL are contemporary and authentic which young adults can also relate to. The setting often involves the places where young adults spend a lot of their time such as schools or recreational places. YAL usually have a single plot line which is realistic and fast moving with a lot of dialogs.
Traditional works on the other hand, deal with adult issues such as parenting, marriage, or divorce. Both traditional and young adult literatures share some common issues like romance, friendship, and even dangerous substance abuse. The traditional works, however, have multiple plots, slower pace, longer time frame, and are more complicated.
The protagonists of the traditional works are adult. The language used in more traditional works such as words, style, and sentences can be too complex or even alien to young adults. Thus, traditional works make young adults connection more difficult and they are less enjoyable reading materials for them. Therefore, curriculum developers must take this issue into consideration if life-long learning and love for reading are to be instilled in young adults.