I was thinking about the 5 of… game while driving along the 224, the main artery between the cities of Canfield and Poland in Northeastern Ohio. The drive can be tedious unless you create little challenges for yourself like arranging the world in categories by attributes. On this occasion, I asked a work-related question that I resolved to answer in the time it took to drive past the wild bird feed store: Name 5 titles of books written for an adult audience that might have been dually categorized as young adult literature, but were published before the extreme moment of popularity of the genre.
Now, we might debate over the definitional criteria for the task, but I believe that I have arrived at four serious contenders for such a list based on specific aspects of appeal for adolescent readers, and I invited a few of my colleagues from the English Department at Youngstown State University to supply a fifth title.
Dr. Tiffany Anderson: James Baldwin (1974), If Beale Street Could Talk
Dr. Rebecca Barnhouse: Robert Heinlein (1961), Stranger in a Strange Land
Dr. Gary Salvner: Charles Dickens (1850), David Copperfield
My hope is that the reader of this article might (also) propose a fifth title.
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Roper, C. (2014, March). Geek love at 25: How a freak family inspired your pop culture heroes. Wired Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2014/03/geek-love/