BRIEF 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
1967 THE YEAR THAT YA UNOFFICIALLY BEGAN
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
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
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.