Literary genre

Young adult novels 

The novel Holes by Louis Sachar belongs to the young adult genre. Young adult novels are written mainly for teenage readers and often address specific problems and challenges of growing up. The characters are usually young, which helps the reader identify with them better. The language used in the novel is often adapted to the vocabulary of teenagers and generally tries not to go beyond it.

The young adult novel only became a genre distinct from children’s literature in the 20th century, as growing up was increasingly understood as a distinct and extremely challenging phase of life.It is not uncommon for the teenage main characters to be separated from their parents for a short or long period of time during the novel's plot (e.g. Bastian in Michael Ende’s  The Neverending Story, who is ignored by his father and goes off on an adventure of his own), and some are even left to fend for themselves as orphans from the very beginning (e.g. Momo in the novel of the same name). Outside of adult influence, it is the job of adolescent characters to form their identities and develop on their own.

Young adult literature deals not only with classic themes such as friendship and love, but also with relevant social problems. The Wave (1981) for example is a social experiment about National...

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