…get these Next Big Things just right.
YALSA’s upcoming YA Literature Symposium will explore the future of young adult literature. The symposium begins on November 2nd, but we wanted to get a head start here at The Hub, so we’re devoting October to 31 Days of the Next Big Thing. Each day of the month, we’ll bring you forecasts about where YA literature is headed and thoughts on how you can spot trends and predict the future yourself.
So far this month we’ve had great posts on The Hub predicting the next big thing in YA. From fantasy to banned books to social reading, we foresee some exciting developments on the horizon. After working hard at our crystal balls, we decided to have a little fun and ask ourselves, what do we wish would be the next big thing in YA? Read on to find out what we’re yearning for, and then let us know — what do YOU wish would be the next big thing in YA?
Our Wish List
- Spies! Books about spies are awesome.
- Books about college for students in high school.
- Teen novels that talk about social issues without being a how-to manual. Books that that lead teens though challenges instead of just away from them. As with TV, too many of our books seem to glorify behaviors without ever talking out the disastrous outcomes.
- School teachers embracing YA, teaching it, and (gasp!) letting teens choose what they want to read!
- Old school scary thrillers like Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine would be the next big comeback, complete with the cheesy covers and amazing titles like Die Softly and Bury Me Deep.
- A boom in books featuring strong female characters who
- have no supernatural powers
- don’t get all sappy when a cute guy walks past
- know absolutely no form of martial arts whatsoever
- More easy-to-read mythology-based books, similar to the Percy Jackson series, but covering other Eastern world mythologies!
- Stories about teens set in far-flung foreign countries. Sometimes the details of life in another place are the most interesting and memorable. For all the teens out there who are armchair travelers and get their vacations vicariously, more stories like Karou’s time in Prague in Daughter of Smoke and Bone would be fantastic.
- Plain old realistic fiction. Magic and post-apocalyptic scenarios are great, but there should be abundant choices when it comes to a good read about teens and their lives. That might sound a little boring but it seems as though there used to be tons of these books around and now they are completely overshadowed by the flashier books and series.
- YA titles being more widely respected by adults. There are definitely plenty of adults reading YA, but shame and stigma still persist.
- Books that are not trilogies and series, but simply a good stand alone story!
- Solid relationships between parents and teens. There are a few examples but not many.
- Books that contain descriptions of food (and there seem to be a lot of them now with the craze for baking, especially things like cupcakes) could include a hidden scratch-and-sniff component that allows you to actually smell the types of food being described as you’re reading about them. Books like Wicked Sweet by Marce Merrell, which is all about a girl baking spectacular cakes, would be awesome to smell.
- In the same way, there should be a mechanism that allows you to press on the text where a song is mentioned and hear it at the same time you’re reading about it.
Now if we can just find that darn lamp…
Lots of thanks to everyone with a wish: Sharon Rawlins, Sarah Debraski, Mia Cabana, Jessica Miller, Maria Kramer, Amanda Margis, Gretchen Kolderup, Amy Pelman, Jennifer Rummel, and Laura Perenic.
— Whitney Etchison, currently reading Boneshaker by Cherie Priest