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Middle school library collections are curated for students in grades 6-8, which includes students younger than the intended YA audience. The inclusion of YA literature in middle school library collections ensures that the needs of all learners are met.  

In the event your child brings home a book that is not a good fit at this time, please return the book to the library in exchange for a new title.  

Families have the option to decide whether or not their student has access to YA materials in the middle school library. 

Characteristics of Young Adult Literature  

  • Library professionals define YA as a book written for an audience of 12-18 years old/grade 7+.

  • Young adult literature is written with more mature subject matter and includes complex sentence structure and language/vocabulary that reflects an audience in transition from childhood to adulthood.  As interests and relevance change with each child’s development, so do their reading choices. 

Questions a Middle School Reader might consider before checking out a YA Book 

  • What do I want to read and why? 

  • Who can I ask when I have questions about what I am reading? 

Identifying Young Adult Literature in ASD20 Middle Schools 

Communicating about young adult literature is intended to help each student find great books regardless of where they are in the developmental range of middle school students. Students and families will know that a particular book has a YA designation when they observe the items below. 

In the Library:  

  • A YA sticker on the spine of the physical book. “YA” labels on the spines of young adult books help students make informed selections.  

  • Reminders about the YA designation are posted on circulation desks and throughout middle school libraries. The reminder states, “(A Young Adult) book may contain language, violence, or content best suited for a mature reading audience. Before you check these out, please make sure that it is okay with your family.”  


  • In the Destiny Discover library catalog, patrons can search for YA titles using the advanced search tool and filtering by interest level (starting level: Young Adult to ending level: Young Adult). Using the same search terms but adjusting the interest level range to grades 6-8 will produce different search results. 

Adjusting Access to Young Adult Literature for Your Middle School Student 

Parents are the best guides for their own children. Support your child in selecting great books by using the strategies for searching and creating Collections. Find out more about using our online catalog.

Additionally, parents and guardians may choose to limit access to YA library materials as they see appropriate for their own child. Families that would like to block access to YA titles may do so by contacting the school librarian in writing. A note will be placed in your child’s account in Destiny, the Library Catalog, documenting your family’s request. Once this note has been placed, your student will not be able to check out YA titles in print or digital format. Because these notes do not expire, we encourage families to revisit these requests annually. Changes in access to library materials must be communicated in writing to the school librarian.      

Additional Information About the Value of YA Literature

Books for young adults are crucial in our libraries because they help teens navigate their emotions and the challenges of growing up. According to the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), these books are valuable because they show readers characters they can relate to, making them feel less alone in their struggles. Adolescence is a time when teens are torn between fitting in and being unique, and these books can provide a sense of reassurance and community. They also teach empathy by sharing stories of diverse lives, encouraging readers to connect with others.

Additionally, Young Adult literature prepares readers for adulthood and instilling values for responsible citizenship. By providing real-life examples, these books help teens form their own beliefs, make sense of the world, and become thoughtful individuals. These books are essential tools for teens to understand themselves, connect with others, and prepare for the challenges of adulthood.  

"The Value of Young Adult Literature", American Library Association, May 8, 2008. :// (Accessed March 1, 2024) Document ID: 3c448370-600c-11f4-b18d-fe6025e206f0. Summarized using ChatGPT on 29 Feb. 2024.