Ch.14: Coming of Age in a Young Adult World


Coming of Age Films

A type of film where the protagonist(s) is initiated into adulthood through knowledge, experience, or both, often by a process of disillusionment disenchantment or crisis.

Understanding comes after the dropping of preconceptions, a destruction of a false sense of security, or in some way the loss of innocence. Some of the shifts that take place are these:

  • ignorance to knowledge
  • innocence to experience
  • false view of world to correct view
  • idealism to realism
  • immature responses to mature responses

Examples of stories include: first time relationship experiences, divorce of parents, moving to new high school, loss of a loved one, problems in school due to choices made, relationships and interactions between bullies – jocks – nerds – cheerleaders and the social ladder, teens and young adults discovering ‘who’ they really are.

Mark Kermode’s recipe for the perfect Coming of Age movie – BBC

Writing the Coming of Age Story | Toy Story Series (courtesy of WE Watch)

Behind the iconic and lovable Toy Story film series is a profound exploration into a number of different and complicated subjects such as change, identity, and belonging. And rightfully so as this series is the ultimate allegory for coming of age


When you think of Young Adult (YA) fiction in film, most of those stories are adapted from best selling novels covering topics ranging from schools for wizards, vampire love stories or dystopian futures.

Engage in the following materials to explore the impact of this important genre (for literature and film).

This article offers historical overviews & sub-genres of YA story lines:

A brief history of young adult literature


The following video explores the …

The Evolution of YA: Young Adult Fiction featuring Lindsay Ellis

Expectations of YA Readers (courtesy of the Author Learning Center)

Writing young adult novels has its own set of challenges and luxuries. New York Times bestselling YA author Marie Lu shares her tips for writing YA fiction, including the plot, pacing, and length expectations of YA readers versus adult fiction readers. When writing an adult novel, you have the opportunity to put conflict on hold for a moment and explore detail within your story. In YA, you must focus on the tension and plot. YA books move at a faster pace, so you need to continue to drive the plot and keep the reader’s attention. One luxury of writing YA is that the word count requirement isn’t as defined as with an adult novel. It depends on the story and genre of your YA book.

Young Adult Lit Belongs to Everyone | Kris Dinnison | TEDxSpokane

A lifetime as a teacher and librarian has taught Kris that young adult literature is everyone’s literature because that stage of life lends itself to stories that resonate emotionally.


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