Libby Armstrong, a former banker from a bookselling family, has opened Beachside Bookshop at Avalon on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the first to specialise in YA books, with about 200 titles at the front of the shop beside the adult books.
"My goal is for young adult books to come out from under children’s books," she says.
Too often they are lumped together in reading guides and bestseller lists, she says. But YA readers range from "the mature end of primary, ages 11 to 12" to adults. The older readers enjoy books aimed at ages 15-plus that can explore sexual relationships as well as universal themes of friendship, peer pressure and parents, and are well written but fast reads for busy people.