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

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