They Suck, They Bite, They Eat, They Kill: The Psychological Meaning of Supernatural Monsters in Young Adult Fiction
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Teen readers have always been fascinated by monsters, but lately it seems like every other young adult (YA) book is about vampires, zombies, or werewolves. These works are controversial because they look at aspects of life and human nature that adults prefer to keep hidden from teenagers. But this is also why they are so important: they provide a literal example of how ignoring life’s hazards won’t make them go away, and demonstrate that ignorance of danger puts one at greater risk. Bodart examines six different monsters in YA fiction (vampires, shapeshifters, zombies, unicorns, angels, and demons), discusses the meaning of these monsters in cultures all over the world, and explores their history and most important incarnations in teen fiction.