"Reducing an entire genre to one person’s books as a source of comparison is limiting and reductive of the nuances, the depth, and the range of voices that exist within it. Believe it or not, John Green is not the be all, end all of contemporary realistic YA fiction. Many amazing authors came before him and wrote with goals to portray real characters in real world situations — Laurie Halse Anderson, Judy Blume, SE Hinton, Robert Lipsythe, Paul Zindel, Robert Cormier — and many amazing authors came after him and will continue to come after him. Yes, he has spent a long time on the NYT List. Yes, he’s achieved a lot for having such a young career. Yes, he’s easily recognized as one of the great YA authors. Yes, he’s done a lot for the YA community.
But, he’s one person who has written just a few books. He is not the definition of a genre, nor is he the definition of YA."
— Kelly Jensen
, “The Reductive Approach to YA”
in response to adult non-fiction writer A.J. Jacobs reviewing Andrew Smith’s young adult novel Winger
by coining the term “GreenLit.” (Good one, New York Times
Here’s the thing: the discussion that should be happening in regards to this idea of “GreenLit” and the ways in which it’s unhelpful to talking about young adult literature isn’t about whether or not you like John Green and/or his books and/or Nerdfighteria.
It’s about whether or not you value the variety and complexity and depth and diversity and breadth of talent that’s present in young adult literature as a genre, and contemporary young adult literature as a sub-genre. It’s about respecting the accomplishments of authors individually, and not just because they can be lumped into some vague, specious new sub-genre. And it’s about appreciating that even if you (or your kids or your students or your patrons) read and re-read John Green’s books however many times a year, when the time comes to want something new and different and also very good, those books will be there, also important and also cherished, and you will have the right to read them without someone saying that, “Oh, I can’t believe you went from John Green to THAT.”
Also, as Kelly rightly notes, J.D. Salinger did not write YA lit. Get off my lawn, NY Times
. (via annaverity