During dinner with friends last night, I wondered in passing if I like Obama for the same reasons I like YA fiction better than adult fiction. Sure, I was being a bit flippant. But then I thought more about it, and…well…
1. Better edited. (Oh, snap!)
2. Change: YA books are full of change, because teens are full of change.
3. YA books are about taking on the world. Fix it? Change it? At least our part of it? Yes we can!
4. Hope. I’ve always said this is one of the key differentials between adult and YA. YA books need hope at the end, we need a sense that everything the character has been through has lead him or her somewhere better. That we are better for having spent time with him or her.
5. Gets you where you live. YA books are unafraid of using new formats, different structures, and incorporating cell phones, blogging, text messages, email, and tons more ways that young people actually communicate.
6. Not issue driven. Issues are important. You’ve got to know how to handle them. But then you’ve got to be about more.