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NPR YA Books list: Wait, what?

Hey, remember last year when NPR asked people to nominate and vote on the 100 best SF/F books of all time and chose to exclude YA novels (along with a number of other categories and genres)?

Now they're doing a similar vote for YA novels. I went to take a look, and this little tidbit caught my eye:

In winnowing the roster to a manageable size for voting, we considered both a book's popularity — as represented by the number of nominations it received — and the question of how well it fits the YA category. The latter sparked plenty of debate; there is, after all, no objective test for teen fiction. Is Pride and Prejudice YA? What about The Catcher in the Rye? Or The Lord of the Rings? (No, yes and yes, respectively.)


Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Lord of the Rings is YA fiction? The same Lord of the Rings that came in first in last years' poll of the best SF/F books?? The same Lord of the Rings that won a poll in which NPR categorically excluded all YA fiction?

Sorry, NPR book editors (or whoever is running this poll), you cannot have it both ways. I realize that genres and categories such as SF/F and YA are difficult to define, but pick your definitions and stick with them. Either LotR is YA, in which case it shouldn't have been eligible for the first poll, or it's not. As it is, it looks an awful lot like playing favorites with the books you like and finding excuses to bury the ones you don't.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/594147.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
taricalmcacil
Jul. 26th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
I agree that they can't have it both ways, vut I can see why they'd have trouble categorizing LOTR. The Hobbit is categorized as a children's story, so I can see how it follows that LOTR could be categorized as YA. Sounds like they need a specific set of criteria to follow for making a cut off line, but they don't really have one.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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