Originally Posted by HarryT
I've always felt that "Young Adult" is a particularly meaningly phrase. If a book is aimed at 14-year-olds, then (in my view) it's a childrens' book. Let me add that I say that as a big fan of children's books. I have a large collection of turn-of-the-20th-century childrens' books: Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc.
That's the category into which I'd place "The Hunger Games"; please do correct me if you disagree.
Never really read "children's books when I was growing up so i can't really judge.
Here is my opinion though. I think these books are considered "Young-Adult" books based on the age of the characters involved and based on the fact that the writing is targeted at a 9th-10th grade level (Not very meaningful IMHO since generally kids of that age are suppose to be reading adult books in HS). The subject matter however is such that I can think of quite a few books that would be emotionally easier for someone in the 14-15 year age range to deal with.
These books are violent, sometimes graphically so. Some of the characters are evil, but not of the simple sort of evil that we get in Harry Potter. I liked the books quite a lot, but I think they require more maturity of the reader than Narnia and the Hobbit do (and even more than "The Lord of the Rings").
Oh, I would also point out that I believe quite a few adults are buying and reading the books