Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Yes because all kid lit is exactly the same.

So I was walking around my house of worship-- TARGET when I came across this. 

At first I laughed, immediately casting Dora as Kitnass and Elmo as Peeta and the hilarity  in my head ensued.  Oh I had jokes about how The Map would help Dora find the others kids from the other districts so she could murder them.  Cookie Monster seemed 100% appropriate in this story and Olivia was terrified she would be lunch.

But the more I thought about it, the angrier I got.

Basically in target's mind, all children's entertainment is exactly the same.  My four year old would equally enjoy Hunger Games because she likes Dora, right?  Under 16 is all the same demographic? Well, isn't it? 

Diary of a Wimpy Kids is totally geared to the same readers as Paper Towns.  Right?

And I feel like I'm stating the obvious by saying, Um no.

A part of me feels like it's stuff like that, preschool imagery next to YA literature that makes it so hard for YA to be taken more seriously. 

On the other hand, Target is marketing clear and recognizable brands.   No one is saying the YA doesn't make money.  Or that it's not entertaining. 

With established authors who tend to write for an adult audience now jumping over to YA side, does that mean that YA is now legit or just a cash cow?

I'm sure I'm not the only one pondering this.

What are your thoughts on the topic?  Leave them below


  1. When I went in for my daughter's parent/teacher conference last year, her teacher had one concern--finding books that Belle could read. No, probably not the way it sounds ... truth is, Belle reads at a fifth or sixth grade reading level, and her teacher expressed the struggles at keeping her challenged and growing as a reader without giving her ... well, YA stuff (the idea of a second grader reading Sarah Dessen or "Twilight" gave me the shivers).

    This is a serious problem ...

    She's reading the "Harry Potter" series right now and a series about a class hamster named Humphrey, but maintaining her innocence in the face of her love of literature? It's going to be an uphill battle ...

    (I'm not sure how much this has to do with your post, but it's what you got me thinking about :-))

  2. Ha! What a display! You're right, though. I guess places that aren't marketing themselves as bookstores just lump everything together. I'm wondering how well-read (in the kid lit sense--pre-school to YA) the person who put the display together was.

    As for whether YA isn't taken seriously, I'm not sure that was Target's intent, but I can see what you mean. To some stores, it's just a money maker, like Dora, and so that can all be put in the same pile. Reminds me of seeing "50 Shades of Gray" at the grocery store check-out line. Do you really want your kid waiting in a long line and picking that up???

  3. Jess- Fifty Shades of Gray was on the display right next to it.