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Friday, July 15, 2011

What The Genre?

Happy Friday All,

Sorry about not posting on Thursday. I was exhausted Wednesday evening, so I decided to just go to bed--then I was busy today, so I took the day off.

I thought I'd cover age genre types and what they mean. Some people have asked me about genres. One question I got was, "What's YA?"

So, I'll start with the youngest age group and work my way up (as a Romance author I'm going to talk a lot about that when I get to the adult section):

Children's Books:  These are anything from infant to 7 years old. (Some bookstores will have a section that says:  "3-5 Year Olds") Typically you'll find board books and easy-to-reads. There's a lot of Disney books available in this section. Titles like Brown Bear What Do You See? Caps For Sale, Splat The Cat, Berenstin Bears, Thomas The Tank Engine, I've found a lot of Dr. Seuss books in this section as well.

Mid-Grade:  Most of these books are geared toward kids between children and young adult (generally 7-12 year olds). You'll find the Percy Jackson, Heroes Of Olympus, Kane Chronicles (by Rick Riordan) in this section. Several Gail Carson Levine books can be found there, as well (of Ella Enchanted fame).  This is where I found the re-prints of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books as well. Beverly Cleary books (Ramona ). There's several other books, of course those are just a few examples. (I've found Noel Streatfield reprints there, too. She wrote all the "shoe" books:  Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes, Ice Skating Shoes). Also this would be the section you'd find the Maud Hart Lovelace Betsy-Tacy books I've mentioned on here. 

Young Adult (YA):  These are generally geared towards 13 through high schoolers (although I'd say a lot of these books are more high school aged books than younger than that--but that's my personal opinion). This is where you'll find the Twilight books (Stephenie Meyer), Tera Lynn Childs (I did a review of one of her books called Forgive My Fins--look in the right hand margin of this book, arrow down until you get to the part that says "Book Reviews By Bethany"). (Note:  MaryJanice Davidson, who writes several adult novels has a series out with her husband, Anthony Alongi that's a YA series entitled:  Jennifer Scales--there's several out and I think on the bottom of the cover will say:  A Jennifer Scales Novel).

Adult:  Almost all Romance out there is adult (MaryJanice Davidson's Undead, Mermaid, Royal series are all adult Romance....Kerrelyn Sparks, Christie Craig, and a slew of other authors).  There's Thriller/Horror (I think of Stephen King whenever I think of those genres--although someone who's read more of his work will know more which genre it fits in), there's a lot of genres in adult fiction.

When it comes to the Romance genre there's not many authors who write for anyone younger than adults.

There might be some books in the General Fiction sections in bookstores that maybe okay for younger than adults but it's important that readers realize that there are age groups that an author has in mind when they write their novels. Unless it's found in the mid-grade/YA section chances are it's for adults. There are exceptions of course, but this is a general rule of thumb.

In each age group genre type you can also find a variety of genres everything from fantasy, contemparary, there's paranormal (even mid-grade sometimes has some paranormal), thriller, horror, contemporary, women's fiction, literary, westerns, general fiction (I think that's usually where literary is put), historicals, sports, science, art, reference. Some YA has romance, as well, but there is a difference between YA romance and adult romance. (Generally adult romance is more sensual than YA).

When in doubt, you can always ask a bookstore worker. They know quite a bit about what's out and what genre and what age group. They know what's hot and what's available. Use their knowledge. You can even search by age group and genre online.

I'm sure some of my other readers who are in the business of writing and publishing can add their input. If you have any questions you can certainly put them in the comment section.

Have A Fabulous Friday And Happy Reading!


Anonymous said...

Genres are so diverse, but needed for book marketing and for readers to be able to find them!

Anonymous said...

Good job,Bethany. Our local library has this listed at one of the counters, and some bookstores do.I think they all should have them,as some young people are exposed to subjects too 'adult', and most of the time, I think most of us want to back off the 'hard-stuff' a lot.I think some many writers,(and film makers), rely too heavily on graphic sex and gore to make up for poor or lazy writing skills, don't you?
[Aside: our library's reference desk now sports a sign that says: "Please bother me!"]
Take whatever time off you need, Bethany; you have a life. A cousin of my husband's and his son were traveling around and found out that we were in the same state,(as they had lost touch).I had 'drop in' company from California with 2 hours notice on Wenesday. You can bet I scambled! But I'm glad I did, as we had a great time!

J.D. Faver said...

I've had difficulty finding appropriate books for my 11-year-old granddaughter. She is a voracious reader. I believe this is called the "Tween" reader. Younger than YA and less angst; definitely no sexual content. She read all the Harry Potters and other similar series. Any suggestions for the pre-teen?
Thanks, Bethany
writing as J.D. Faver

Bethany said...


Exactly. Unfortunately, sometimes people don't always know what the genres mean. I didn't do a complete breakdown (that would take several posts) but I wanted to do a general one to get people started. Thanks for dropping by :-)

Bethany said...


Sometimes sex scenes are either where the characters took the author or part of the expectation of certain types of books (like say, Erotica). Some authors who have scenes that could be considered graphic are very talented.

That's an awesome sign for a librarian to have. LOL I should tell that to a reference librarian I know.

As always, thanks for dropping by :-)

Bethany said...


The tween ages can be a little tricky. Has she read Gail Carson Levine? "Fairest" is a little darker than "Ella Enchanted", but it's a really good boook (but it's not too dark for the young and tween ages) "Ella Enchanted" is really good for those ages--I'd say from 7 years old and up. Also the "shoe" books I mentioned (Noel Streatfield) are really good (no sex scenes at all). The "Percy Jackson" by Rick Riordan series are also geared toward that age group. Most Mid-Grade/tween novels (at least the ones I've read) don't have sex scenes. The books by Edward Eager: "Half-Magic" and other titles in that series (as well as some other ones) are "clean" enough for 11 year olds. Me and my siblings LOVE those series and I think some of my nieces and nephews have, too.

The "Betsy-Tacy" books are not sexual at all (even when she enters high school, graduates and gets married). I read them throughout my junior high and high school years--they're all right for that tween age, too.

Beverly Cleary's "Ramona" series are often enjoyed by the mid-grade to tween ages.

You might try talking to a bookstore salesperson or a librarian. They know a lot about what those age groups are reading and often they know what the content is.

Thanks for stopping by :-)