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What is a young adult?
A young adult is, plainly, someone who is nearing adulthood and experiencing the increase in freedom and responsibility that comes with it.
Here at the library, though, we define a young adult as someone who is in middle school or high school. You might see us use the term "teen" interchangeably with "young adult." While that may not be strictly proper (many young adults are not yet teenagers) we think it's less of a mouthful sometimes.
What services do you offer to young adults?
We have a teen space that not only contains books and audiobooks, but a selection of graphic novels, manga, and non-fiction titles appropriate for a YA audience. This is in addition to the rest of the library, our online databases, and our inter-library loan (ILL) services, all of which young adults are free to use and browse. We also have a page dedicated to our teens' research needs and special interests here.
There are also work spaces, bean bag chairs, and computers specifically for teen use.
We are also proud to offer programs just for teens, so they can connect with each other, share their interests, and unwind from all the stresses of everyday life. A complete list of clubs and events can be found here.
Who are the teen services librarians?
All of the librarians at the Reuben Hoar Library can assist young adults with their needs, but Jenna Cantino and James Taber are generally responsible for matters regarding the teen space and its users.
I'm a young adult, but I would like to read adult books. Is that okay?
Absolutely. The YA supergenre is often a jumping-off point for readers to refine their tastes and start to explore classically "adult" media. While it broadly appeals to young adults in middle school and high school, the truth is your reading interests may have matured beyond YA. If you're looking for help finding adult books that you like, feel free to ask a librarian.
I'm an adult, but I would like to read YA books. Is that okay?
Despite what certain journalists would have you believe, it's perfectly acceptable for an adult with mature tastes in literature to enjoy YA books. They tend to focus internally on character development, paying more attention to the turmoil and struggle inherent in the process of growing up rather than external adventures. Humans of all ages can relate to that. Furthermore, YA books are often straightforward in their presentation, not using complicated language or convoluted stories, which can be a relaxing change of pace for some.
If you're an adult and would like to browse the YA section, please do so, but remember to respect the teens' space.
What are some popular YA books?
You can view the New York Times' young adult best sellers here. It's perhaps the best source of staying up to date on what's trending in the market, but sometimes there's no accounting for taste.
- Willfull Machines, by Tim Floreen. Lee Fisher, son of the U.S. president, hates his boarding school and his fellow students. His only real passion is building robots so lifelike and smart they skirt the law, until a boy named Nico arrives and brings a world of trouble with him. Suddenly, Lee goes from just trying to keep his head down until graduation to trying to keep his head still attached to his shoulders. A borderline post-cyberpunk boarding school adventure.
- Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld. In 1914, the world seems balanced on a knife's point. Prince Alek of Austria is just trying to learn how to pilot his homeland's traditional walking tanks when the unthinkable happens: his family is killed and the country is thrust into a massive war. His only hope is Deryn, a boy in the British Air Service who has experience flying the enemy's genetically-engineered beasts, but who also has secrets of his own. World War I with a steampunk twist.
Graphic Novels & Manga
- The Angel of Elhamburg, by Aki. Lalvan and Madeth have been friends for a long time, and now that they're trusted knight and high king respectively, their relationship will be strained by new challenges. What does it mean that Lalvan can see angels, yet they always seem to prefer to hang around Madeth? Things get worse when Madeth's new wife is drawn to Lalvan, and Madeth's son shares Lalvan's gift. A one-shot manga with some serious Shakespeare flavor.
- Boxers, by Gene Luen Yang. The foreign devils have been bullying the poor Chinese villagers long enough. Imbued with the power of an ancient god, Little Bao seeks to cast out his enemies and free his country with the help of his own army. This story is a stylized exploration of the historical Boxer Rebellion. If you enjoy it, be sure to check out its companion volume, Saints.
Books in a Series