Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

This paper discusses changes to the cover art of young adult literature in the last twenty-five years, and how those changes have affected the success of YA novels and society’s perceptions of YA literature. These changes lead to the genderization of novels as well as misrepresentation of a novel’s content. This is particularly a problem among books by female authors. Genderization has a major impact on the type and gender of audience a book attracts, and it often limits, rather than expands, the type of readers attracted. Furthermore, the books that receive the highest awards, including the Michael L. Printz Award and the Newberry Honor Award almost always possess genderless covers. It would appear that genderization of cover art plays a role, even if it’s a small one, in how valuable society deems YA novels, and whether or not the content of those novels can be considered “literary.”

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Jon Ostenson

Location

B103 JFSB

Start Date

17-3-2016 9:45 AM

End Date

17-3-2016 10:45 AM

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Mar 17th, 9:45 AM Mar 17th, 10:45 AM

YA Cover Art: Changes and Social Impact in the Last Twenty-Five Years

B103 JFSB

This paper discusses changes to the cover art of young adult literature in the last twenty-five years, and how those changes have affected the success of YA novels and society’s perceptions of YA literature. These changes lead to the genderization of novels as well as misrepresentation of a novel’s content. This is particularly a problem among books by female authors. Genderization has a major impact on the type and gender of audience a book attracts, and it often limits, rather than expands, the type of readers attracted. Furthermore, the books that receive the highest awards, including the Michael L. Printz Award and the Newberry Honor Award almost always possess genderless covers. It would appear that genderization of cover art plays a role, even if it’s a small one, in how valuable society deems YA novels, and whether or not the content of those novels can be considered “literary.”