This is a post that kind of follows up the post I did last month on how mature young adult books should be and how we police them. This is something that’s been bothering me a bit.
Why do publishers consider young adult to be 14+?
The US National Library of Medicine defines young adult as 19-24 years of age. Now that sounds correct to me. I would add 18 in there. But the term adult is generally someone 18 or older. And young adult would be early in the adult years. The teenage years are 13-19.
The psychology definition: generally a person ranging in age from their late teens or early twenties into their thirties.
(noun) A person in their late teens or early twenties
(adjective) Intended or suitable for adolescents, especially those in their mid to late teens
So as an adjective, the age is different than the noun. Why?
I also looked up teen literature along with ya. Teen: 13-19 YA: 19-21
Protagonist is generally 15-19. Younger end of teens is common in middle grade.
Young adult is also defined as the stage between adolescence and adulthood. By human development, that is 15-24. I’m not sure if this is physical or mental (or both).
So why does the publishing business consider YA to be 14+? Why the differences in definition? Is this more US based or is it everywhere? What are your thoughts?