Monday, July 19, 2010

What teenagers like reading...

I review YA books for the Otago Daily Times. Lots of books come into their office. Today, I brought a box of books into school for my Y12s (16/17 year olds) to choose one book to review for the paper (a fantastic initiative). There were lots of books with vampires, demons, ghosts, angels and the supernatural. There were a few contempory novels (I nabbed two) and a number of historical and/or fastasy books.

After an excited scuffle, the dust settled. What was left: every single one of the novels with vampires, demons, angels, yaddie yaddie yaddie. They didn't want a bar of it.

Damn, now, if I have time, I'll have to feckn read them - so don't want to.

The lesson: silly publishers thinking to ride on the coat tails of Harry Potter and the Twightlight series. Kids and teens bore quickly and if the story ain't well written then they don't care.

Also, I put up a poster for Bloodlines and my classroom was swamped with kids wanting to know when they could get their hands of the next installment.

Yeah. I never did care for trends. I just write what I like and what I know my audience loves to read.

*Tania thrusts her hand high in the air*

Are you paying attention?


Ella West said...

Who said Twilight was well written!

TK Roxborogh said...

Well, as I haven't read any of the books, I cannot comment. Still, that so many kids are loving it and it's sold so well tells me that it must be well written.

I'm uncomfortable when judgements are made about the literary quality of a work. For example, English teachers argue about whether Jodi Picout and Marian Keyes are 'good enough' for students to read for the Unit Standard Wide Reading.

I really enjoy reading both. Some teachers think that only books like Mockingbird or Jane Eyre meet the standard for well written.

Some of the books (NZ I'm thinking of) which everyone raves about as being well written, bore me stupid.