Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism, Third Edition

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Neal-Schuman
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both members and non-members.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

This book is available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information. Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

Cart's authoritative survey is already a go-to text for students of literary studies, teachers, and YA staff. In this new edition he gives it a thorough update to make it even more relevant and comprehensive. Surveying the landscape of YA lit both past and present, this book

  • sketches in the origins of literature targeted at young adults;
  • shows how the best of the genre has evolved to deal with subjects every bit as complex as its audience;
  • closely examines teen demographics, literacy, audiobooks, the future of print, and other key topics;
  • includes updated treatment of best-selling authors like John Green, Suzanne Collins, and Veronica Roth, plus interviews with leaders in the field;
  • presents new and expanded coverage of perennially popular genre fiction, including horror, sci fi, and dystopian fiction;
  • offers an updated overview of LGBTQ literature for young adults, including Intersex;
  • covers such commercial trends as adult purchasers of YA books and the New Adult phenomenon; and
  • features abundant bibliographic material to aid in readers' advisory and collection development.

Cart's up-to-date coverage makes this the perfect resource for YA librarians who want to sharpen their readers' advisory skills, educators and teachers who work with young people, and anyone else who wants to understand where YA lit has been and where it's heading.



Part One    That Was Then

Chapter One     

  • From Sue Barton to the Sixties

Chapter Two      

  • The Sixties and the Seventies    

Chapter Three      

  • The Eighties—Something Old, Something New

Chapter Four      

  • The Early Nineties

Chapter Five      

  • The Rest of the Nineties


Part Two    This Is Now

Chapter Six      

  • A New Literature for a New Millennium?

Chapter Seven      

  • Genre on the Agenda

Chapter Eight      

  • Romancing the Retail

Chapter Nine      

  • So, How Adult Is Young Adult?

Chapter Ten     

  • Meanwhile, Back in the Real World

Chapter Eleven 

  • Reality Redux

Chapter Twelve  

  • Sex and Other Shibboleths

Chapter Thirteen  

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Literature

Chapter Fourteen  

  • Still the Controversies Continue: Book Challenges and Censorship, Oh My

Chapter Fifteen  

  • The Viz Biz

Chapter Sixteen  

  • The New Nonfiction

Chapter Seventeen  

  • Of Books and Bytes

About the Author

Michael Cart

Michael Cart is the former director of the Beverly Hills (CA) Public Library and the author or editor of twenty-seven books. He is a columnist and reviewer for the American Library Association’s Booklist magazine. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Parents magazine. Mr. Cart is a past president of both the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the National Council of Teachers of English’s Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN). He is the recipient of the 2000 Grolier Foundation Award; in 2008 he became the first recipient of the YALSA/Greenwood Publishing Group Service to Young Adults Achievement Award; and is a recipient of the 2018 ALAN Award. Before his relocation to the Midwest, he taught young adult literature at UCLA.

”With the recent trends in the field, it is no wonder that YA expert Cart has updated his already classic reference on YA literature with this third edition … His insights continue to inform and delight the reader."
— Booklist

”The third edition of this enjoyably readable work—a high-level, research-based view of the field, rather than criticism of individual works or themes—features a good deal of new and revised content that should be of value to bibliographers as well as patrons ... readers should find this a shrewd and thorough survey of the YA literature landscape."

”Comprehensive and substantial, and the sheet amount of titles and authors used to illustrate the extent and diversity of YA literature is invaluable … this book is a highly recommended resource."

”This definitive text on young adult literature is for teachers, students, and people who just love to read about literary genres. The book has a reference go-to quality as well as a pick-me-up-and-just-read-it quality … Reading this book is not only a walk down memory lane but a pathfinder for what to expect in today’s fast-paced, internet-driven, and ever-changing world of adolescents, however they are defined and whatever their ages."
— Catholic Library World