The Atlantic

Why So Many Adults Love Young-Adult Literature

Over half of today’s YA readers are over the age of 18.
Source: Ian Waldie / Reuters

This article is edited from a story shared exclusively with members of The Masthead, the membership program from The Atlantic (find out more). In part one, we explore why adults gravitate towards books written for children and teenagers. In part two, we hear from best-selling YA author John Green about his latest protagonist and the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Young-adult literature typically centers on teenagers. But while the publishing industry markets these books primarily to young adults, that’s not always who reads them. Approximately of today’s YA readers are adults. To find out why, I consulted the president of a young-adult publishing imprint, a professor of young-adult literature, a few Masthead members who love YA, and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPsychology
Why Online Dating Can Feel Like Such an Existential Nightmare
Matchmaking sites have officially surpassed friends and family in the world of dating, injecting modern romance with a dose of radical individualism. Maybe that’s the problem.
The Atlantic6 min readPsychology
Dear Therapist: My Husband and I Don't Have Sex Anymore
Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com. Dear Therapist, My husband and I have been married for three years. It was l
The Atlantic6 min read
In Defense of Big Little Lies’ Second Season
This article contains spoilers through the second season of Big Little Lies. Just to put this out there first: No, the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies wasn’t as good as the first. The plotting was minimal, leading up to an underwhelming showdo