It seems to me of late that there has been a rise in the popularity of young adult (that's library talk for "adolescent") fantasy novels. Eragon by Christopher Paolini has been a huge success. A motion picture based on the novel is due to come out in 2006 and its sequel, Eldest, has made the best seller's list. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke has also proven popular. There are also several other fantasy books out right now geared towards younger people: Gregor the Overlander: Book One in The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins, The Children of the Lamp Trilogy by P. B. Kerr, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and yet others. Of couse, the popularity of Harry Potter seems to only grow with each passing year.
I find this uprise in young adult fantasy novels curious as it seems to me that there has been no similar rise in the popularity of fantasy novels for adults. Oh, I have no doubt that adults also read the young adult novels--the popularity of Eragon and Harry Potter is not entirely due to children. Yet, it seems to me that no work written solely for adults has proven as successful as either of those. As to the reason for this new surge in the popularity of young adult fantasy novels, I don't think that is too hard to find. The Harry Potter series is quite possibly the most successful series of books of all time. On top of that, the Lord of the Rings movies were successful enough that they rank among the highest grossing motion pictures of all time. It is not surprising that youngsters would now be interested in fantasy novels. As to why there has not been a smilar upsurge in the popularity of adult fantasy novels, that is perhaps a question for another time....
Book Review--Jean Cocteau: A Life
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