Young Readers’ Editions, or, increasing access to ideas....

Do you have a favorite “young readers’ edition” of an adult book you just love — and want to share with teenagers? Aren’t you glad there’s a teen version of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”? “Quiet”? “How to Read Literature Like a Professor”? Malala’s story?

I’m still waiting for someone to pull that magic on “Guns, Germs, & Steel” (though I am impressed Jared Diamond allowed for a young readers’ edition of “The Third Chimpanzee”).

We’re used to this when it comes to “classics” (read: texts out of copyright — and varying degrees of abridgement and adaptation) — because anything goes when oral storytellers of mythology & fairy tales, Shakespeare, and Dickens are long dead.

I’m more interested in the examples being produced for texts still under the control of copyright by some creator — who cares. Non-fiction and auto/biography are the dominant genres, perhaps because they are “idea-based” — and so the re-working of the language isn’t as great a loss.

Here is a LibraryThing collection of over 60 titles available in editions, originally published for an adult audience, but re-formatted in some fashion to appeal to younger readers (and giving you ISBNs). A few examples are down to the picture book level, but most are at the middle/high school one.