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Cavesa
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 Message 9 of 19
10 January 2013 at 9:01am | IP Logged 
Well, I believe youthbooks, without being any official term, is quite a good word.
After all, there are many books intended for children from about 12 years which are
however often read by adults. Even though you are not familiar with the term (which may
or may not exist), osoymar, several of us understood it the same way.

Young Adult books, while being an official term, is in my opinion far too often just an
excuse for crap books. It is usually fantasy or sci-fi of bad quality, or just a
Harlequin book covered with a bit of fantasy.

Young adults (which I understand as people from 16-25, do you agree?) should read all
kinds of books, to develop their taste, their personality and education. Literary
fiction or better quality genre books (the differences between good and bad fantasy
books, just an exemple, are enormous). Serving young adults tons of stupid books is
wrong, just as it is wrong to call the stupidest books "litterature for women". Both
these PR-catchy labels are quite harmful, in my opinion.
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Quique
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 Message 10 of 19
10 January 2013 at 12:24pm | IP Logged 
juman wrote:
I'm looking for material written by a french author to dig in to. So what I would prefer is if it was books in a series, several books from one author (if I like the first one I have more to look forward to). I'm still at the beginner level but an adult so I some youthbooks could be interesting enough. I know there is translations of Harry Potter / Narnia but I would prefer if was written by a native to start with. So any ideas? Is there any books in french that most french children have read?

Take a look at Le Livre de Poche Jeunesse (unfortunately there is no way to search only for books originally written in French), Portail Européen sur la Littérature Jeunesse and the books sold at FNAC.

Finally, you have Marje's suggestions.

Myself, I intend to read Un sac de billes by Joseph Joffo rather sooner than later.

Edited by Quique on 10 January 2013 at 12:25pm

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osoymar
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 Message 11 of 19
10 January 2013 at 9:09pm | IP Logged 
I see your point, Cavesa, but I don't interpret "young adult fiction" in the way that
you do.

I have a friend who writes YA fiction and describes herself as a YA author, and as I
recall the general definition is that YA fiction is fiction aimed at readers roughly
between 12 and 18 (although I agree that "young adult" on its own usually refers to
people in the range between late teens and mid-twenties, maybe up to the late
twenties). Of course, there are plenty of adults who read YA fiction, whether good or
bad.

I do agree that most YA literature is terrible. So is most sci-fi, most thrillers, most
everything. Does youngbooks actually imply that the fiction is worth reading and that
adults can read it as well? Wouldn't it be clearer to just say "quality YA fiction,"
etc.?

I will also agree that the term "YA" is a fairly recent creation, but I don't think
that prevents it from being used on older works. It might seem like "marketing-speak"
but it seems to be used freely by authors and fans of the genre alike.

There does seem to be some usage of "youngbooks" online, and I don't want to force
anyone to use a term they find distasteful. But I do think there's value in being aware
of the definition of the most commonly used term.

I wish I had a great suggestion to add to this discussion to outweigh my pedantic rant
here, but nothing I can think of is French- sorry!
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Tsopivo
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 Message 12 of 19
10 January 2013 at 10:26pm | IP Logged 
Ok, I wrote a super long post but apparently, it did not work. I am a bit too lazy to type it all over again but here were some suggestions of some cycles written in French for French natives that I think would be rather easy to read for a beginner though not necessarily YA books:

- "Le cycle de l'invisible". Not a serie in the common meaning of the word but different novels on a same theme. I only read "Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran" (very good) and "L'enfant de Noé" (less good, would still recommend it to a language learner).

- "Le cycle des fourmis" or "Le cycle des anges" by Bernard Weber. Greatly enjoyed it in high school but not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if i had been an adult when I first discovered it.

- "Kamo" (children serie) or "la saga malaussène" (adult serie) by Daniel Pennac based on a very vague memory of having liked it a long time ago.

Not cycles but easy-reads, bestsellers French writers who had books translated in many languages, movies made and won prices. Would definitely not recommend it to a French native (except Didier van cauwelaerth) but would definitely recommend it for language learning purposes:

- Mark Lévy : considered "sous-littérature" by many
- Anna Gavalda : not great litterature either but better than Mark Lévy
- Didier van Cauwelaerth : less successful but I quite liked some of his books (un aller-simple, l'éducation d'une fée, attirances)

Also note that a lot of French "classics" are a lot easier to read than one would assume. Eg : "Candide" by Voltaire

Edited by Tsopivo on 10 January 2013 at 10:28pm

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Cavesa
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 Message 13 of 19
10 January 2013 at 11:55pm | IP Logged 
I certainly don't think all the YA fiction writers are bad, not at all. I read some of
them and enjoy them. I just do not think the YA fiction term has got any other purpose
than marketing. Before that term, we already had Fantasy, both great and crap, we had
Sci-fi, both awesome and awful, we already had all the genres that are now overlapping
the YA fiction field. YA doesn't give anything new and valuable to the genre terminology,
in my opinion. One should be encouraged to choose by his taste, not by his age or sex
(which is why I dislike both the labels "for young" and "for women". and the stupidest
books use combination "for girls" :-D). We already have the formal education system to
spoil the enjoyment by recommending the choices too strongely, we don't need the
bookstores to do the same.
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songlines
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 Message 14 of 19
11 January 2013 at 7:48am | IP Logged 
juman wrote:
I'm looking for material written by a french author to dig in to. So what I would prefer
is if it was books in a series, several books from one author (if I like the first one I
have more to look forward to). I'm still at the beginner level but an adult so I some
youthbooks could be interesting enough. I know there is translations of Harry Potter /
Narnia but I would prefer if was written by a native to start with. So any ideas? Is
there any books in french that most french children have read?


Juman, I'm not sure what you mean by "youthbooks", but assume that - given your mention of Narnia and Harry
Potter - you're open to trying children's (rather than just "young adult") books.

I've been greatly enjoying Le Petit Nicolas series, by René Goscinny, illus by Jean-Jacques Sempé.

Wikipedia article: Wikipedia
Amazon France listing for the first title in the series:
Amazon.fr
English translations of two stories, legally reprinted:
Guardian . They'll give you an idea of Goscinny's humour and
Sempé's illustrations, both of which are quite, quite delightful.   I particularly like the second story, "My Watch".

As further bonus, Goscinny's writing and Anthea Bell's English translations are both very good; and a real
pleasure with a text which one might read twice or thrice. I'll try to have both English and French editions of a
book.   Depending on how difficult it is, I might - working chapter by chapter - start with the English version to
get the sense of the section, then read the French while consulting the English from time to time for certain
words/lines/passages. Since I'll often choose books which I'll know to be worth re-reading (from having read
them previously in English), this typically brings me to the third round with a text.

Updated to add: I noticed the comment in your log about wanting to improve your pronunciation. FNAC has CD
"audiobook" versions of a number of the titles, including the first one:
http://tinyurl.com/fnacpncd .

(Someone's also posted the audio online, but I'll refrain from putting the link for that up, as I expect the AudioCD
is still protected by copyright..?)

I also have a short post (mainly a vocab list) on my log about Le Petit Nicolas, if you're interested:
post 128

Edited by songlines on 11 January 2013 at 8:41am

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Jeffers
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 Message 15 of 19
11 January 2013 at 11:16pm | IP Logged 
Songlines, I am interested in Le Petit Nicolas, especially using the English edition
alongside the French edition. But I can't really tell from the titles which English book
matches the book simply titled, "Le Petit Nicolas", which I assume is the first book in
the series. Is the equivalent English book the one simply titled, "Nicolas"?
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songlines
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 Message 16 of 19
12 January 2013 at 7:55am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
Songlines, I am interested in Le Petit Nicolas, especially using the English edition
alongside the French edition. But I can't really tell from the titles which English book
matches the book simply titled, "Le Petit Nicolas", which I assume is the first book in
the series. Is the equivalent English book the one simply titled, "Nicolas"?


Yes. Though it's actually spelled "Nicholas" (with an "h") in English. (The names of the other children also
undergo changes in translation.)

Book Depository: Nicholas. There don't seem to be Google or Amazon
previews, but the description on Book Depository matches:"Follow Nicholas as he runs away, buys his mother a
birthday gift, and worries about showing his parents his report card".

(My English translation was a hardcover from the library, so I can't match the cover illustrations.)

----

I'm currently going through a volume of Nicolas stories which were, I think, published posthumously. In one,
"Chez le coiffeur", the boys arrive in a pack at the hair salon/barbershop. One of the barbers looks up and, upon
seeing them, opens his eyes wide and exclaims, "Non! Oh non!" , to which the other exhorts, "Courage, Marcel!"

By the end of the story, an illustration shows him on a step-ladder, wordlessly crossing out the word
"enfants" from their store signage, "Coiffeur - Messieurs, Dames, Enfants".


Edited by songlines on 14 January 2013 at 6:32pm



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