Why You Should (Always) Read Middle Grade and YA Books

Hey guys, it’s been a while. But I’ve been doing a lot of reading. A lot of YA and Middle Grade reading. And I’ve been thinking about why I believe it’s so valuable to read these genres as an adult.

It may seem strange at first to read books made for kids as an adult and to find great joy from most of them. But trust me when I say there’s plenty of us who do it. From librarians to bibliophiles. So if you enjoy any YA or MG lit, leave the titles of your favs in the comments. Some of mine are Leven Thumps, Vampirates, Harry Potter, and Maximum Ride (but I have so many more that I enjoy).

Without further ado, here are five reasons why Young Adult and Middle Grade books are beneficial for adults to read.

1. They Show What the Current Generation Reads

As a writer, I’m always trying to stay current to my audiences. I often write Young Adult and Middle Grade, and as I get older I think about whether I can still write relatable content. I’ve read some dreadful books where the adult authors think they’re being funny or smart about characters or situations. And yikes. It can be bad.

I love reading YA and MG because it gives me insight to what these groups are into. Even if I choose to work on projects that aren’t like the majority of content being put out, I can still see what topics and plot lines are interesting to a younger generation (or at least what people think the younger generation is interested in).

2. It’s a Refreshing Break From Adult Lit

I don’t know about you, but I’m often exhausted by adult literature. The text is denser. The problems and plot lines are more complicated, and sometimes there’s just so much more fluff. The great thing about YA books is that they are almost always drama-centered. And the great thing about MG is that they are fast-paced. I’m a good reader, but I also want reading to be enjoyable. Sometimes the best answer to this need is a good old Young Adult Fantasy with lots of steamy supernatural boyfriends and ridiculous situations. You feel me?

3. Use Them for a Creativity Boost

Another issue I often have with adult fiction is that they feel too stiff or serious. Young Adult and Middle Grade are often silly, spectacular, and radical. They push the boundaries. They are the pioneers of so many trends in literature from paranormal romance to talking about sexual abuse.

So whenever I’m feeling stuck in a rut with my writing, I tend to read YA or MG. A bonus benefit is they’re often short too! It makes for a little break from your WIP, but a long enough one that you can get a little escapism in too.

4. Taking Great Nostalgia Day Trip

When I think about my favorite YA and MG books, I get thrown back to my middle school and high school days. It makes me cringe, laugh, want to scream. And I kind of love how rereading these books dredges all of those memories back up.

I’m sure some of these books may not be as good as my emotions attached to them are letting me believe, but honestly, nostalgia rules. And if we can do anything to make us feel comfortable during these times, why not?

5. They Are Legit Literature Too

People don’t give Young Adult and Middle Grade authors enough credit. They can produce amazing literature just as often as “Adult” writers. And they do it by relating to a group of people who are much more separated from them. I think these authors need more appreciation from adult audiences, and I’m always happy to give them moral support.

If you write MG or YA, what genre do you like to write, and where do you get your inspiration from?

What genres do you read, and why do you read them? What helps your writing when you’re stuck? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts with the community.

Stay safe everyone!

6 Comments on “Why You Should (Always) Read Middle Grade and YA Books

  1. Pingback: Book Wrap Up (March): Reading in Quarantine – Cornfields in LA

  2. Pingback: Book Wrap Up (April): Slow and Nostalgic Reading in Quarantine – Cornfields in LA

  3. Yes! I love this post and I agree with everything you said. It’s a great break from the “seriousness” of adult literature while also commenting on real issues teens, and the world, face. I’m currently writing a YA Fantasy, although it might be bordering NA/Adult, I’m not sure yet, it’s still a draft.


  4. Pingback: May AND June Book Wrap Up Because Well… – Cornfields in LA

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