wonder wednesday

Wonder Wednesday: Diversity in YA vs Adult Fiction

Hello everyone and welcome to Wonder Wednesday. A discussion post to talk about things I and maybe you have been wondering about.

The question of the day: Have you noticed a difference in the amount of diversity in YA fiction VS adult fiction? Is there really a difference at all?

I’ve always spent quite a bit of time in libraries and book stores, but since starting this I’ve been looking with a bit more of a discerning eye I’ve noticed something odd. There seems to be a lot more diversity in YA fiction then in adult fiction. Have you noticed this too? Am I crazy? Is it maybe just my beloved fantasy genre hasn’t reached a good point yet? I have so many questions floating in my head about this. Please share your thoughts! I’d love to know what you think.

6 thoughts on “Wonder Wednesday: Diversity in YA vs Adult Fiction”

  1. I noticed this too. I think YA writers are trying to write about the concerns of teenagers and young adults and diversity belongs to these concerns.
    Regarding fantasy, you can see more diversity in urban fantasy books like the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch for instance.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I agree with YA writers writing to their audience’s concerns. We have a very vocal group of young people which I think is pretty exciting. I personally know a lot of adults are too though. Do think the difference may partially be because on average adults don’t read as much as young adults? I also know that a lot of adults enjoy reading YA fiction so maybe their demand is already being met? Interesting point about urban fantasy. I haven’t read any in awhile. I’ll have to check that series out.

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  2. I’m not sure. Adult fiction writers all write for different groups of people who all have their own concerns. But generally, I tend to think that diversity has really become an important point for young people today. Ya fiction for 10 or 20 years did not include diversity the way it does today. For instance, the question of sexual orientation was never treated then. There was definitely a change.

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  3. True. Adult fiction does tend to have its own topics to handle or at least approach from a different angle. I might have to do more research into marketing and whatnot for publishing companies to fully understand. I would definitely agree that there wasn’t as diverse YA 10 years ago. I’m enjoying it. I think we’re getting some really great stories out of the push. I think representation is also super important for many young adults. It can be a tricky time. It’s nice to feel like you’re not alone even if it’s character in a book.

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  4. I have been thinking about this topic again today. Maybe YA writers are also more concerned about the social impact on their readers and more eager to “teach” them about tolerance.

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  5. I agree with YA writers being extremely cognizant about what message they’re sending to young people. I think of authors like Tomi Adeyemi who is very forthcoming in all of her interviews that she is writing for the hope of change. Also, with book like The Hate You Give I think these books are extremely relevant to the times. I’ve also considered that maybe an adult audience is more apt to read nonfiction about these topics like sexual orientation, topics dealing with race, and other types of diversity rather than pushing for it in fiction. I didn’t particularly care for nonfiction as teenager, but now as an adult if I really want to know about a relevant topic I’ll go in search for a nonfiction source. Fiction; especially, for adults could be more escapism? Something to ponder

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