Reading YA novels as an adult

Someone asked whether adults read YA novels, and if so, whether that’s strange. My answers: yes, and who are you calling strange?

I was in the YA section of a local bookstore recently, buying a spiffy facsimile edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and I didn’t feel a bit strange browsing the other shelves for the latest book in the Artemis Fowl series, muttering imprecations about a bowdlerized version of The Secret Garden, and raising my eyebrows at a scene I’d forgotten in Have Space Suit, Will Travel. Sure, I’m fifty years old, but a good book is a good book, no matter what age it’s marketed to.

When I was young, a childless couple across the street let me read all the wonderful YA and kids’ books they’d collected over the years, so I grew up thinking there was nothing strange in adults enjoying YA novels. Nowadays, being grown up (OK, well past grown up: sliding into decrepitude), I still read YA fiction along with all the “grownup” fiction.

I don’t have children, but I make a point to buy good YA novels to stock my shelves so that when my niece and nephew come over, they’ll find something interesting to read. After all, for three semesters I assigned M.T. Anderson’s YA science fiction novel Feed as reading to college students in a composition course. They loved it.

And so did I.

What do you think?