National Book Awards finalists and popular YA literature

The shortlist for the National Book Awards was announced Thursday. Among the finalists for nonfiction is Pulitzer-prize winner and USC professor Viet Thanh Nguyen, for his book titled, “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.” Colson Whitehead made the shortlist for fiction for his novel “The Underground Railroad.” Jacqueline Woodson is another finalist in the fiction category, for her novel “Another Brooklyn.” Woodson won the National Book Award in the Young People’s Literature category in 2014. That’s a genre that’s exploded in popularity since it first became a category for the awards twenty years ago. A lot of YA (young adult) books are incredibly violent and deal with adult issues; so what exactly is YA these days?