History of YA Literature

By Jose Ruiz,2014-08-21 03:52
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History of YA Literature


Early 1900’s 1930’s Series Books

1905 Edward Stratemeyer Syndicate founded. It produced the following series (&


    ; Tom Swift

    ; The Hardy Boys

    ; Nancy Drew (110 titles)

    ; Bobbsey Twins

1922 John Newbery Medal established to honor the “Most distinguished

     contribution to American literature for children”

1936 Helen Boylston‟s Sue Barton, Student Nurse

    ; With its publication, Margaret Edwards said, “the dawn of the

    modern teen-age story came up like thunder” (Cart).

1938 John R. Tunis‟ The Iron Duke

    ; called the “first sports novel that could legitimately be called

    „literary‟ fiction” (Cart).

1940’s Teen Romance

    1940 Betsy-Tacy Series (13 books) by Maud Hart Lovelace

1942 Maureen Daly‟s Seventeenth Summer

    ; called the first young adult novel by Margaret A. Edwards (“the

    patron saint of young adult librarians”), even though it was

    published for adults (Cart).

    ; dealt with sexuality and teen romance.

    ; remained popular well into the 1960‟s.

    ; still in-print today.

1950’s The Teen Identity

1952 J.D. Salinger‟s Catcher in the Rye

    ; “introduced the contemporary themes of adolescent angst,

    alienation, and anomie that would inform so much of the teenage

    fiction that followed in its influential wake” (Cart).

    1957 Young Adult Services Division of ALA established

1960’s Rise of Realism

1960 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

1965 “The All White World of Children‟s Books” published by Nancy Larrick

    ; exposed/examined the lack of “authentic” multicultural books for



     G. Robert Carlsen‟s Books and the Teenage Reader: A Guide for

     Teachers, Librarians, and Parents

     Ann Head‟s Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones

     S.E. Hinton‟s The Outsiders & Robert Lipsyte‟s The Contender

    ; The Outsiders and The Contender “have come to define the form

    that we think of today as „young adult literature‟” (Cart).

1968 Paul Zindel‟s The Pigman

1969 John Donovan‟s I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip

    ; first YA book to deal with homosexuality.

1970’s Realism & Golden Age of Young Adult Literature

1971 Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

1974 Robert Cormier‟s The Chocolate War

    ; “perhaps the most controversial and discussed YA novel of the

    century” (Silvey).

1975 Judy Blume‟s Forever

1976 Mildred D. Taylor‟s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

    ; one of the first YA books by a writer of color

1977 Shelton Root coined the term “New Realism”.

    ; described books that dealt with the harsh realities, moral

    dilemmas, and problems faced by teenagers.

    ; teens became a “distinct social group—not just extensions of their

    parents” (Temple et al, p. 285).

1980’s Return to Romance & Series Books

1987 Young Adult Choices Award established

1988 Margaret A. Edwards Award established

1989 Francesca Lia Block‟s Weetzie Bat

    ; introduced magical realism to YA lit

     st1990’s 21 Century Return to Realism & Second Golden Age of YA Literature

1992 Young Adult Services Division of ALA becomes Young Adult Library Services

     Association (YALSA)

1996 Pura Belpre Award established

2000 Printz Award established

    ; awards YA novels purely on the basis of literary merit


    Cart, Michael. “Famous Firsts”. Booklist. Nov. 15, 2000, Vol. 97, no. 6, p. 628.

    Silvey, Anita, ed. The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators. New York:

     Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.

    Temple, Charles, Miriam Martinez, Junko Yakota, and Alice Naylor. Children’s Books in

     Children’s Hands, Second Edition. Allyn and Bacon, Boston, 2002.

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