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Sunday, October 16, 2016

31 Days of Horror: Day 16-- YA Horror: A Three Day Series Begins

Today marks the beginning of a 3 day series here on the blog where I will be focusing on horror directed at a teen audience.

Day 1 is all about the difference between adult and teen horror with a bunch of list to help you suggest the best books for the right reader. Day 2 will be a giveaway and day 3, a review of the new book by my favorite YA horror author right now-- and she is perfect for adults too.

Let’s get to it...

Although my specialty is helping adult horror readers, I also worked for 5 years helping Teen readers and developing a horror collection for their use. So I know from experience that when you talk about RA and YA horror it is a lot more nuanced than it seems. Here is my list of the issues and concerns that you also have to consider:
  1. Teens consider all creepy books “horror.” As you help them, you need to also consider Gothic, Urban Fantasy, dystopian Science Fiction, and even some of the more intense Suspense and Psychological Suspense. Teens will refer to these as horror and you need to listen to exact what kind of scares and chills they are looking for.
  2. Teens love horror movies [my daughter is a good example here]. Often you will be able to find them the best book for them based on which movies they enjoy. But please note, they watch old and new horror movies interchangeably. Don’t just assume they are fans of the newest horror flicks. They are watching everything and anything on demand through streaming services.
  3. Teens in general are more willing to try a book in a genre that don’t normally read. When you are working with teens on finding a book they enjoy, don’t use genre as one of your starting points for the RA conversation. Really listen to “WHY” they enjoy the books they do and don’t confine yourself to the genre of that book because they don’t.
  4. While we regularly move teen readers to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or other adult horror authors, as we help adults, many library workers forget to suggest teen horror titles to adults. Yes, the teen titles have less blood than adult titles, but they are just as scary. In fact, I think some of the YA horror writers do a BETTER job at creating chills and tension than adult authors because they cannot rely on as much violence.
So now that I have thrown a mess load of caveats at you, seemingly making your job harder than it was before you read this post, I am going to help you with plenty of lists and titles to keep you loaded up with YA horror suggestions all year long:
Check back tomorrow for a three book giveaway of YA horror titles that you can add to your collections.

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