For Younger Readers

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For Younger Readers

Postby MongoGutman » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:44 am

Maurice and the Tiffany books - what makes them "for younger readers" in your opinion? To me they just read like normal DW books. Is it just a marketing ploy?
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:24 am

Well they have a younger protagonist for a start and generally there's a lack of 'adult' language. The themes of the stories tend to be less adult too. Although people did question Terry regarding some of the things that took place in I Shall Wear Midnight. His reply was something along the lines of; he was only writing about events that a young person could easily read about in a newspaper.

I see the books a good entry point into the mainstream books in much the same way that Anne McCaffrey's 'Harper Hall' books (Dragon Singer, Dragon Song and Dragon Drums) where a great introduction for younger people into her Dragon Riders of Pern books.

I would say that if you are an adult reader of Discworld or Pern, for that matter, you'll want to read these books as well.

And a younger reader who has read Tiffany or Maurice would have little trouble getting into the mainstream books. Some things might be a little over their heads, but I suspect that as they experience life, the stories will make more sense.

I know that we've had members here who have read the mainstream books who were as young as 12 and weren't put off by them. :)
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby raptornx01 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:46 pm

MongoGutman wrote:Maurice and the Tiffany books - what makes them "for younger readers" in your opinion? To me they just read like normal DW books. Is it just a marketing ploy?


and in the case of maurice. talking animals. no, thats its. thats honestly all you need to it to be considered a younger readers book.

Take the "Warriors" young reader books by erin hunter for example. by the end of the first series of six books it had a death toll larger then most horror film franchises. had a character die giving birth. another crushed by a car, disembowelment, disfigurement, and what is possibly the most horrific death scene i have ever read (no i'm not kidding). and its not implied, its described, in detail. but because the characters are all talking cats, its fine.
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby raisindot » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:32 pm

My wife works in the library of a neighboring town's middle school (6-8th grade). She's says that most popular books that are targeted at 'YA' readers these days are filled with stories of young drug addicts, teenage pregnancies, broken homes, gay and transgender teens, gangs, and all kind of tweens in trouble, not to mention all of the "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" books that can barely be kept on the shelves. And no parents complain at all.

Back to the original question, I would submit that "Wee Free Men" and "I Shall Wear Midnight," if no categorized as YA books, could easily fit into the regular DW cannon. Indeed, I'd even say that some of the earliest DW books seem far more juvenile in tone and subject matter.
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby Sister Jennifer » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:52 am

Marketing or not, they've won young reader awards so clearly they fit that criteria. The fact that all ages can read and enjoy them just shows how good a writer TP is. My daughter started reading DW when she was about 12(ish), she's almost 15. She's read a few of them now including a couple of the young adult books but it's Death and the Lancre Witches that are her favourite. Maurice was her first DW book.
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby AuntyVague » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:54 am

As a Library Studies student and someone who has just started working in the library system (weird kind of mid-life crisis huh?) not to mention as the parent of a 12 year old, this topic is of great interest.

A think one of the central issues might be what is a 'Young Adult'? The American Library Association defines this group as 12 to 18 year olds. Which to my mind is a bit misleading as I think of young adults as 18 to 20 ish. On top of that, the range of 12 to 18 is a pretty broad one in itself in terms of development and interest. I personally feel that what is appropriate for a 16 to 18 year old is different to what is appropriate for a 12 to 13 year old, but I'm a bit old fashioned.

I was happy to let my daughter read the first two Tiffany books when she was eleven, but I held off on I Shall Wear Midnight. I'll relent next year when she hits high school...and it won't be long before she asserts her own choices anyway! I can only guide from here on in I suspect. But I think it is as role of parents to take an interest in what our kids read, not for libraries to censor. That ends up going down a very interesting path and it is worth looking at what is challenged for kids to read...not always what you might think http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/2000_2009

As for what makes the Tiffany books 'YA' I think that they do, more than the other Discworld books focus on an adolescent’s perspective. For that reason I think they are a great example of YA writing and not half as confronting as some other offerings in the category. I also think good YA writing should be enjoyable to an adult too, just voiced from a different perspective.

Edited to say that my daughter also tried a couple of the the other Discworld books when she was about 11. She just didn't 'get' them in the same way as Tiffany.
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby MongoGutman » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:01 am

I'm guessing that in Oz they're labelled "for Young Adults"? Never heard that distinction before. Over here they're just described as "For Younger Readers"
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby AuntyVague » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:29 pm

Sorry Mongo...I did run off on quite the tangent there about 'young adult' rather than young readers :oops: but I was interested in the point raised by raisindot about the types of books found in the US for young adults, which sounds very similar to here.

It is interesting that the term 'Young Adult' is not used in the UK. Is there a term to describe the 12 to 18 year old age group of readers?
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Re: For Younger Readers

Postby raisindot » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:44 pm

AuntyVague wrote:A think one of the central issues might be what is a 'Young Adult'? The American Library Association defines this group as 12 to 18 year olds.


Wow, that is a classification that bears absolutely resemblance to what kids read today. According to the wife, even the middle-schoolers don't want to read "YA" stuff anymore by the time they reach 8th grade, and I don't think you'd catch anyone over 15 purposely going to the "Young Adult" section of a library unless there was a specific 'hot book' out there for all to read. Frankly, these days I see more younger teenage girls reading "50 Shades of Gray" than anything else.
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