Young adult (or YA) literature and publishing are not simply flourishing. They represent perhaps the fastest-growing field of all. With graphic novels and so-called crossover works like the Harry Potter series selling in the tens of millions, the field of YA literature is one of the most dynamic and exciting in the U.S. and Canada. YA is increasingly an international phenomenon as well. "The Continuum Encyclopedia of Young Adult Literature" is the only reference guide to this phenomenon in any language. It is a collaborative effort by 200 authorities who contribute some 650 original, signed entries. These key contributors include: Michael Cart, Ken Donelson, Danny Fingeroth Ted Hipple, Teri Lesesne, Alleen Nilsen, Hazel Rochman, Stephanie Svirin, and many others. (Some are subjects of entries themselves.) Among the authors and educators written about are: Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Chris Crutcher, Will Eisner, James Cross Giblin, Karen Hesse, S. E. Hinton, Robert Lipsyte, Lois Lowry, Linda Sue Park, Gary Paulsen, Richard Peck, Philip Pullman, Louise Rosenblatt, J. K. Rowling, Art Spiegelman, Dorothy Strickland, J. R. R. Tolkien, and many others.
A considerable effort is made to include authors and graphic-novel artists who are not found in any other reference work on adult or children's literature. Another special feature is the topical article. These often include up-and-coming figures that are not covered in their own entry. There are 75 topical articles, including African American Literature; Asian American Literature; Australian Literature; Canadian Literature; "Crossovers"; "Death and Dying"; "Fantasy"; "Feminist Fairy Tales"; "The Graphic Novel"; Harry Potter - "Not Just for Kids Anymore"; Horror; Latina/Latino Literature; "The Lord of the Rings" and "Beyond"; New Zealand Literature; Science Fiction and Crossovers; Superheroes of the 1960s and Stan Lee; Witches and Dragons; Tween and Teen; Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow; and others. For easy reference, "The Continuum Encyclopedia of Young Adult Literature" features an appendix listing major-award winners as well as an index of names cross-referenced to entries where applicable.