Young adult fiction is called a genre, a bookshop category, and more. It is a way of grouping books together based, usually, on the age of the protagonist. But a young adult protagonist does not mean that a book will only appeal to a younger audience, nor should it. And books that are written for younger audiences shouldn’t be patronising or dumbing-down either the vocabulary or content. There is a lot that YA has to offer readers of all ages and we aim to overcome the stigma that has plagued YA since it first came to prominence.

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

We talk to award-winning YA author Frances Hardinge (aka ‘the terrible metaphor addict’), whose books include The Lie TreeCuckoo SongA Face Like GlassTwilight RobberyGullstruck IslandVerdigris Deep, and Fly By Night. Other than being written with a younger audience in mind, Frances’ books straddle all sorts of genres and never shy away from the deeply disturbing or disturbingly weird. And why shouldn’t they? Teenagers are very savvy creatures who deserve as much interesting reading material as adults.

Our discussion covers a great many titles and authors, including:

  • The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien
  • Nicholas Fisk (author)
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • Tom Pollock (author)
  • Goosebumps by R.L. Stein
  • Robin Jarvis (author)
  • Stephen King (author)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Death House by Sarah Pinborough
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • The Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  • The Blue Hawk by Peter Dickinson
  • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
  • One by Sarah Crossan
  • Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
  • A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

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