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Defining Genre

Contemporary fiction is filled with stories that are realistic--things that could happen to real people in real settings in contemporary (our own) times.  They often deal with topics and issue that are important to/for the intended audience.  So, YA contemporary fiction will include books centered around issues like teen relationships, teen health, social issues such as racism and substance abuse.  Be assured, though, that YA authors rarely "preach" at their audience.  Rather, they allow you to explore and discover the common themes of these tough topics in a safe space--a book.

WORTH NOTING: There are many contemporary novels that fit very neatly into other genre as well. Generally speaking, when you encounter a genre-organized collection of books (in a library, in a bookstore, or online) you'll find that also books that fit into other genre are placed there, first.

While YA authors do focus on issues and topics particular to their teen audiences, they may also use their talents to draw attention to or provide support for issues important in larger society.   Current issues being addressed by young adult authors include:

  • toxic masculinity and rape culture
  • neurodiversity
  • Gender Identity
  • indigenous people's rights
  • #ownvoices
  • the immigrant experience

Updated 6/4/2020

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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