It’s not news to us that adults enjoy YA books—just ask our staffers who are counting down the days until the release of Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay, or who nominated graphic memoir Stitches as a best nonfiction book of 2009, an honor shared with Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Michael Lewis.

Still, it was nice to see the Los Angeles Times run an article this morning recognizing crossover hits like The Hunger Games trilogy or Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. And any readers who don’t buy the YA trend can’t argue with these numbers: In the first half of 2009, adult hardcover sales were down 17.8%; children's/young adult hardcovers were up 30.7%.

Lizzie Skurnick, author of a book of essays on teens books from the ‘60s and ‘70s explains why YA authors are popular with a wide audience:

YA authors are able to take themselves less seriously. They're able to have a little more fun, and they're less confined by this idea of themselves as Very Important Artists. That paradoxically leads them to create far better work than people who are trying to win awards.

What YA books do you love? Do you agree with Skurnick that teen authors have more fun with their writing?

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