The Necessity of Young Adult Fiction

Oxford Univ. (Literary ­Agenda). Jun. 2023. 160p. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9780192848970.
A rich exploration of YA literature as a category of books that “offers interventions in the pressing crises that emerge from climate catastrophe and from the rise of xenophobia and nationalism,” nestled within the practice of cosmopolitanism that emphasizes community beyond borders and relationships rooted in dialogue. Williams invites readers to consider how YA literature may present opportunities to participate in “cosmopolitan reading practices”—her term throughout this book for the engagement, conversation across difference, and potential to be impacted by the text in a way that encourages readers to make changes in the world beyond the book. This accessible book presents discussions about contemporary issues, such as the climate crisis and activism, and contemporary novels, such as Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Witch” series set in present-day Nigeria.
VERDICT Recommended children’s and YA lit courses.

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