Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seventeenth Summer and today's Readers

Some people argue that Maureen Daly's 1942 novel Seventeenth Summer was the first Young Adult novel published in the U.S. (I've also seen compelling arguments for The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders.)

Of the books we've read so far in my Young Adult literature course, students have found Seventeenth Summer the least relatable. Many of them found Daly's protagonist and narrator, Angie Morrow, too passive, too unobservant, too wishy-washy when compared to today's young adult female narrators. I think the students are glad they read the novel (I hope!) for historical context, but I'm not sure it's one they'll reread in the future.

Have you read Seventeenth Summer? What do you think about the novel and today's readers? What causes a Young Adult novel to age out, to become no longer interesting to a new generation's readers?

And, here are a few discussions from my class blog: