I personally love YA and graphic novels. I probably read more YA than any other fiction. I have just started getting into Graphic Novels. I don’t purposely seek too many of them out (I do read every Raina Telgemeier graphic novel that comes out), but I do pick them up whenever one catches my eye. I can read them quickly and I feel productive with my time after reading one.
I know that adults are quick to judge adults who read exclusively YA, or even a lot of YA, because adults are no longer teens. But, you don’t see people who are judged for only reading Science Fiction, Amish Romance Novels, or Westerns, yet there are people who exclusively read those and no one is shaming them for doing so.
One of the best ways for YA to be read by the masses is pairing them with movies. YA books are being made into movies or TV shows constantly. No one judges people for reading the book when it is a Nicholas Sparks movie or a James Patterson movie, and to me, YA is no different. Before I Fall and Everything, Everything are coming out this year and there are countless others that are in development. John Green’s Looking For Alaska, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, And Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places are all in beginning stages of development.
YA isn’t the only genre getting the big budget movie treatment. Adaptations of Graphic Novels and comic books have grown so much, Disney had to get in on the action. The Walking Dead is a hit TV show based on the Robert Kirkman series of graphic novels, anything that has hints of Marvel or DC have been made and remade in a variety of formats, French comics are getting into the mix with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. There are even adaptations of non-superhero graphic novels with Wilson and the Coldest Cities. By creating a display of “Read It Before You Watch It” would be a great way to incorporate these items into your community.
Each year for our Summer Learning Program, we have a variety of YA books (and graphic novels) on our recommended reading list, and they are always big hits. Incorporating the titles into relevant reading lists would be an easy way to introduce reluctant YA readers to the genre. If you don’t label it YA, would anyone notice? I think about the book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which is in our regular adult fiction section, but is about young boys.
With all that being said, I DOUBT I would suggest a YA book to an adult unless they specifically say they only read YA or have a particular title they are looking for. Luckily, I don’t get asked by too many adults for reading suggestions, since I am in the children’s department. However, my co-workers and I are always letting each other know about the new books we are excited to read! For example, I just read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and can’t wait to get my hands on Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz. And my husband will only read graphic novels, currently he is on a wordless graphic novel kick. But, we are young at heart and want to remember the joys of youth through our reading material.