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More Teen Books Appealing To Adults

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Summer Knowles reports for CBS4 News. She joined CBS4 in June 2...
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s called “kid-lit” but in this day in age, it’s not just for kids. Now the majority of books written for children and teens are actually being picked up by adults.

Amy Stender is 31-years old but when it comes to reading, she prefers to embrace her inner child choosing books written for kids half her age.

“The story and the themes behind it are very adult and universal. They are very simplistic but yet very complex, all at the same time,” said Stender.

She’s not alone.

A study found 55 percent of buyers of young adult books are over the age of eighteen.

“I used to talk a lot more with teens about teen books and now I’m sort of talking to everyone about teen books,” said Stender.

Shannon Peterson is the president of the Young Adult Library Services Association. She says gateway books like Harry Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games first gave adult readers permission to browse the kids section and they haven’t left since.

“I think it’s awesome. I think there’s amazing, amazing books out there for readers as young as eight and I think it’s wonderful that more adults are seeing that and appreciating that,” said Peterson.

Literary agent Kristin Nelson sees this as part of a larger trend today. The blurring of the lines between what appeals to adults versus kids.

“I can listen to the same music that my teenage nieces and nephews listen to. There are adults who play videogames. There’s less of a distinction between, oh this is only for adult readers and this is only for kids,” said Nelson.

Nelson says publishers are paying attention to their expanded audience, and are now actively marketing to adult readers with ads in popular magazines and in movie theaters.

And many big name adult authors have also gotten in the game including John Grisham and David Baldacci.

But with so many adults picking up kids books, is there a concern that authors will start slipping in adult themes?

“They shouldn’t be writing with that audience in mind, because their true audience are the young readers and that’s the only people they need to satisfy with their stories,” said Nelson.

As for Amy, she says she’s found some real literary treasures between the covers of kids’ books and hopes others will give them a try.

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