I have had a difficult time enjoying the novels for this course. I believe that this is because they are
intended for young adults and I have finished exploring that area of literature. I have always read a lot,
but have not read a Young Adult novel since high school. I think these novels are clearly targeted for a
younger audience. I am going to analyze each novel we have read and argue the big theme that makes it
more appropriate for a younger audience, other than the obvious age of characters.
The Shore Girl is a novel about finding place; a topic we have talked about in a lot of the novels.
Finding a place of belonging is a process that all young adults go through. Young adulthood is a time
when you are between places. You have just left elementary school and now have to decide what to do
with your life and have five years to figure it out. High school is a time when young adults are finding
their place, which is why it is such a prominent theme in young adult literature. I feel, as an adult, if I
have not found my place, I have at least found the path towards it. This is what I find Rebee’s situation
in trying to find place something that makes the novel too young for me.
In Swimmers Hunter has to deal with the dramas of friendships. Yes, this is something that is dealt all
ages. However, Hunter’s way of dealing with the problem is something more real to young adults than
to adults, I believe. Hunter deals with Niall by leaving the situation; leaving the entire province behind.
This is something I see more young adults doing: leaving the problem rather than facing it. This is why
I believe the novel is for a younger audience. Hunter’s behaviour is more how a young adult is expected
to behave than an adult.
The Lesser Blessed is full of profanities and sexuality. I found in my years of high school profanities
and sexuality were at the forefront of gossip and discussions between friends. It was all about how
many swear words you knew and who had sex, what kind, etc. The way profanity and sexuality are
brought about in the novel seemed the way young adults dealt with it. As an adult, I find we still do
participate in the use of profanities and sexuality in discussions, but we also know when to be more
professional. The fact that profanities and sexuality was everywhere in the text made it unappealing to
me, but would have appealed to me in high school.
The Crazy Man was the one novel I did enjoy. I think this is because rather than dealing with a theme or
issue that was relevant to young adults, it looked at a historical issue: mental illness. A historical issue
does not belong to just one age, usually, which is why The Crazy Man appeals to all ages. It is the one
exception in this class because it is not a Young Adult novel; it is actually categorized as Children’s
Finally, Blink and Caution is a novel driven by the plot. Although adult novels can be plot driven as
well, they usually have more depth. Blink and Caution has no depth; everything is written for the sole
purpose of the plot. I think plot driven novels are especially appealing to young adults because they are
going through a time of struggle in life (as mentioned above the struggle to find place) and plot driven
novels are a form of escape. However, to really enjoy a plot driven novel you need to turn off your
brain. I think that this is what makes it a young adult novel: the ability for young adults to turn of their
brains a lot easier than adults.
This is a class on Canadian Young Adult literature. As such, it is an expectation that these novels are
categorized as Young Adult fiction. We have discussed readership before in the class quite a bit, but I
feel that it is fairly obvious that all these novels are intended for young adults.