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YA vs. Teen Which Nomer Will Prevail?

March 16, 2007

According to the term teen wins by about 40,000,000 results.

Young Adult has the connotation of something more serious than you want it to be.  Like when someone calls you “young lady,” you know you’re in trouble.  There’s a sort of formal distancing when the term is used.  Teen seems like a casual, passe term that people just fling around.  You hardly ever hear a teenager refer to herself as a teen, or with any label for that matter, but she’d sooner identify with the term teen than with young adult.  

The term young in itself seems an affront to some teens who like to think of themselves as mature beyond their years.  As we get older “young” develops a more positive connotation especially when you start to consider yourself old.  Age ain’t nothing but a number.    

There have been occasions where I’ve directed an adolescent to the YA section only to get a bewildered look like I was speaking another language.  Perhaps that’s an example where library terminology gets in the way of connecting with our target audience.  Libraries tend to treat teens marginally, not as adults, but as kids too old for the kid’s section.  As young adult librarians we’re trying to change that status quo.    

So you decide, is it young adult or teen?   

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2007 3:03 pm

    Hey, now you’re making me worry about the YA YA YAs name! But I do have to admit that I just chose it as the name for this blog after you said you liked it, basically because I’m not creative enough to come up with something fun and catchy that includes the word “teen.”

  2. July 27, 2007 6:00 am

    My apologies for commenting here–I would have emailed, but I wasn’t able to find any contact info. If an author is interested in sending you a copy of a book for review, may one do so? And if so, what address(es) should the book be sent to?

  3. July 27, 2007 6:01 am

    And never mind my above post, as I am an idiot and missed the email address clearly listed in the about section. I blame it all on today being Friday…

  4. Gayle permalink*
    July 29, 2007 11:15 am

    Elizabeth: Thanks for getting in touch with us.

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