Recommended Reading for Children and Young Adults (Introduction) PDF Print E-mail


Introduction to the Revised Book List for Children and Young Adults

This is the December, 2007 revision of the Recommended Reading List for Children and Young Adults by Anne C. Morrel.

So what criteria were used in revising the list? First, the book has to be appropriate for the age groups designated "children" and "young adult." "Children" obviously refers to material appropriate for any child from the time he first begins to read, usually around age 6. "Young adult" is defined by publishers and authors as the age group 12-16. Since there is a wide variation in reading skill and maturity, both physical and emotional, in that age group, teenagers are not all ready to advance to books for adults at the same time, so "young adult" refers to the hypothetical "average" person aged 12 to 16.

There are certain standards used by authors in writing young adult books. Publishers helped set those standards. Librarians use them to determine whether a book goes in the children's or the adult section. Those are the standards used in deciding which books should be on this list. Stories must have language appropriate for their intended age group. There must be no graphic violence or sex; such matters should be handled in an "age-appropriate" manner. Situations or concepts should not be so intense that they would prove distressing to the reader. Certainly, books can be serious or thought provoking, but they should not deal with material that the reader is not emotionally mature enough to cope with or understand.

Books must be enjoyable for young readers, but at the same time the subject matter must not be objectionable to their parents. The movie ratings system offers a good comparison. Books meant for children are always rated "G". Books for young adults are rated "PG." Anything rated "R" is for adults. And the age when a child is mature enough for "R" rated material varies with the child. As the movie ads say, parental guidance is required. The books recommended on this list are all rated "G" or "PG."

An effort has been made to make sure that there is nothing that parents will find objectionable. Generally, parents, teachers, and librarians will see this list first, so it will be after adult review that kids will be allowed to have the list. We at the LASFS want this list to be judged as a valuable primary resource.

Another criterion for being on this list is availability. Most of the books are or have recently been in print, so book stores and libraries should have copies. There are a few titles that might prove hard to find, but these have been kept to a minimum. This list does not even pretend to be exhaustive. New books are always being written, others are becoming virtually impossible to find. For this reason this list will be periodically revised. But it can never contain every appropriate title. This list is a starting point, not the last word.

This list is produced by the Committee on Children's Literature. The rest of the committee provided valuable input and assistance, but the editor is the one who made the final decision on titles. Therefore, the editor thinks it appropriate to cite her qualifications. First, I know the criteria currently used to classify a book children's or young adult. Over the years I have read-- and continue to read-- quite a bit of this material. Thanks to Publisher's Weekly and Locus and catalogues from publishers, I know what is scheduled to be appear. I browse the children's and young adult sections of the local bookstores to see what is there. Many of the titles on the list are in my personal library. I don't think just any old list is good enough for the LASFS. The list must be a valuable resource for teachers, librarians, parents, and their children-- a list on which the LASFS can feel proud to have their name.

Go to the Recommended Reading List for Children and Young Adults.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 02 July 2017 )

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