Gone are the days when teen literature had only a small shelf of titles to its name. Since the late 1990s, the genre has exploded, with titles from series such as Harry Potter and the Hunger Games claiming the top spots on bestseller lists.
And teen lit isn't just for teens. According to Bowker, a company that gathers authoritative information for the publishing industry, fully 55 percent of the readers of books for teens are over the age of 18.
Author Edith Pattou's book East is one such novel -- a title that appeals to teens and adults alike. Based loosely on the folk tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," East follows Rose, an intrepid explorer and weaver, on a quest through snowy expanses to right a wrong she has done. The winner of the 2004 Ohioana Book Award as well as one of the American Library Association's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, East has been optioned for film.
On Feb. 8, Pattou will share insights gained from writing East and her other successful teen literature during the Worthington Libraries program, Writing the Young Adult Novel. She will offer an overview of her career, with plenty of tips along the way for aspiring authors of teen lit.
Writing the Young Adult Novel is scheduled at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., from 2 to 4 p.m. The workshop is free, but registration is required; sign up at worthingtonlibraries.org/calendar/registration, or by calling 614-807-2626.
East is not Pattou's only successful work. In addition to her New York Times-bestselling picture book Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, she has published the teen novels Hero's Song and Fire Arrow.
Drawing inspiration from Celtic mythology, Hero's Song follows Collun, a gentle herbalist and gardener, who must undertake a daring journey to seek his missing younger sister Nessa. Fire Arrow tells the story of Brie, a friend of Collun's and a brilliant archer, who has her own quest of revenge.
Her most recent novel, Ghosting, will be published this summer. Set in a contemporary Midwestern town, this thriller tells the tale of a dare that goes tragically awry, changing the lives of its characters forever. Pattou is also at work on a sequel to East titled West.
Writing the Young Adult Novel is part of Worthington Libraries' Mark My Words writers' series, during which experienced authors share their expertise on a different genre of writing each quarter. The next workshop, on April 12, will feature writer and artist Alexis Wilson, who will discuss memoir writing.
Meredith Southard is an adult services librarian for Worthington Libraries.