In order to simplify the browsing process for youth and their parents, the Bullitt County Public Library uses two age categories for classifying materials whose core audience is between the ages of 8 and 18. Generally, our Junior collections are targeted to middle-grade readers (ages 8–12) and “tween” readers (ages 10–14). Junior readers typically have moved beyond early chapter books—or, in the case of the youngest Junior readers, are in the process of doing so—but are not yet ready for or interested in books with more adult themes or content. Our Young Adult collections include materials that are most likely to interest readers ages 12 to 18, or grades 7 and up.
These distinctions are not intended to make readers feel in any way limited to a particular category when they are choosing materials. Rather, these classifications are meant to (1) make it easier for readers to locate the materials that best match their interests and maturity/reading skill levels and (2) help parents feel comfortable in allowing their elementary and middle school aged children to explore and select books on their own. Upper elementary students who “read up” and middle school students may often select books from both Junior and Young Adult collections. And of course, teens and adults are encouraged to select books from any and all categories that appeal to them.
Junior & Young Adult Books
Books in our Junior Fiction collection typically include storylines and vocabulary appropriate to grades 3 to 6, though some of the tween-directed titles may fall more in the grades 5 to 8 category. While titles may include growing-up themes or social issues like alternative lifestyles, racism, sexuality, violence, or differing belief systems, they are addressed with age-appropriate details. Graphic description of sensitive topics is minimal, and the use of profanity is limited.
Our Junior Fiction section ranges from series like The Boxcar Children for the youngest Junior readers to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle on the older end of the spectrum. Series where the books’ characters and the primary readership “age up”—as with the Harry Potter series—are usually kept in the Junior Fiction section in their entirety.
Other popular books and series in this category include:
- Book of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau
- The Brian Saga by Gary Paulsen
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
- His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
- Little House on the Prairie (main series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Nancy Drew (main series) by Carolyn Keene
- Percy Jackson and the Last Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Redwall series by Brian Jacques
- The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
- Warriors series by Erin Hunter
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- A Wrinkle in Time Quartet by Madeline L’Engle
Young Adult Fiction
Books in our Young Adult (YA) Fiction collection feature storylines and vocabulary appropriate for grades 7 to 12, though some titles in the collection may contain content that is best for older or more mature teens. Typically, the protagonists in these titles are high school aged, though characters may be slightly younger or older. These books often explore potentially sensitive topics—including abuse and self-harming, alternative lifestyles, bullying, drug culture/addiction, mental illness, racism/discrimination, war, etc.—in a more direct or explicit manner than the titles included in our Junior Fiction collection. However, more gentle reads that appeal to teens are also included in our YA Fiction collection.
Series where the initial book may be appropriate for most Junior Fiction readers but where issues and content in later books are more suited to readers ages 12 and up are housed in the YA Fiction collection. Titles in this category include Lois Lowry’s Giver Quartet, Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, and Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series.
Other popular fiction books and series in the YA category include:
- Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
- Maze Runner series by James Dashner
- Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans
- The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
- Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
Junior Nonfiction & Biography
Because of the high audience age overlap for many nonfiction titles, Bullitt County Public Library does not have separate nonfiction categories for middle-grade readers and teens. Instead, we have highly varied Junior collections that cover materials intended for grades 3 or 4 through grade 12.
Junior Nonfiction titles are informational books based on real facts, people, and events that are directed at upper elementary, middle, and/or high school ages. These titles often include a variety of sidebars and images, but they may also be highly text-based with few visual accompaniments, especially titles directed at the upper end of the age range. Junior Nonfiction titles generally address topics in more depth than the books in our Children’s Nonfiction collection but may be less detailed than Adult Nonfiction books. Junior Nonfiction works are interfiled with our Adult Nonfiction collection according to subject-based Dewey call numbers.
Junior Biographies include true stories—either biographies or autobiographies—that are written about the life of a specific person. The materials in this collection are designed primarily for middle-grade or young-adult readers. Titles are interfiled with our Adult Biography collection according to the subject of the work (e.g., a junior biography of Abraham Lincoln will be found under “Lincoln”).
Junior Graphic Novels & Young Adult Graphic Novels
Bullitt County Public Library’s graphic novel collections include both fictional stories and nonfiction stories that are published in the graphic novel format. These are generally novel-length works where the visual component is essential to the storytelling and often use techniques such as art panels and speech bubbles. Our graphic novel collection also includes titles that readers might refer to as comic books, manga, manhua, or manhwa. (The last two are essentially the Chinese and Korean counterparts to Japanese manga.).
Junior Graphic Novels are intended for roughly the same audience as the Junior Fiction collection. However, the collection also includes graphic novels for early chapter book–level readers. Titles range in age and interest level from Superman Family Adventures and graphic-novel adaptations of Scooby Doo and Geronimo Stilton to books like Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Paul Pope’s Battling Boy on the older end of the spectrum.
Other popular series and titles in this collection include:
- Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
- Bad Island by Doug TenNapel
- Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm
- Big Nate comics by Lincoln Pierce
- Bone series by Jeff Smith
- The Boxcar Children (graphic novel adaptation) by Shannon Eric Denton
- El Deafo by Cece Bell
- Hazardous Tales series by Nathan Hale
- Hilo series by Judd Winick
- Lumberjanes series by multiple authors
- Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka
- Pokémon Adventures by Hidenori Kusaka
- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
- Sidekicks by Dan Santat
- Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Young Adult Graphic Novels are intended for roughly the same audience as the Young Adult Fiction collection; however, this collection also includes some middle-grade and tween-interest titles we feel also appeal to teen readers. Except for series published especially for very young readers and those with strong adult content, most of the superhero comics from Marvel and DC are included in the Young Adult Graphic Novel collection.
Other popular series and titles in this collection include:
- American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
- Black Butler series by Yana Toboso
- Blankets by Craig Thompson
- Death Note series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
- Dragonball/Dragonball Z series by Akira Toriyama
- Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
- Fullmetal Alchemist series by Hiromu Arakawa
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
- Through the Woods by Emily Caroll
Junior & Young Adult Media
Audiobooks are a fantastic option for reluctant readers or readers who are often on the go, and BCPL offers a range of format options to fit the needs of our middle-grade and young-adult patrons. Audiobooks on compact discs are available in our Junior Books on CD and Young Adult Books on CD collections. Audiences correspond exactly with the Junior and Young Adult print collections. There are also a few titles for these groups available on MP3 CDs, which look and sound like a regular CD but use a compressed file type to fit an entire narrated book on one disc. MP3 CDs are interfiled with our Junior Books on CD and YA Books on CD collections.
Additionally, we have growing collections of Junior and Young Adult Playaways. Playaways are small, portable devices that are pre-loaded with an audiobook. They are much like an iPod or MP3 player dedicated to one book; to listen, just use your own AAA battery and earphones!
Hoopla and OverDrive also each offer a fantastic selection of downloadable and streaming audiobooks for Young Adults. Titles that would be located in our Junior collection are mostly located in their children’s and juvenile collections.
Movies & Music
A number of movies and music CDs that appeal to middle-grade and young-adult audiences are available in the general Blu-ray, DVD, and Music CD collections.
Here are a few of our favorites movies adapted from popular Junior and YA books: