I am the older sister to an awesome 16-year-old high schooler, Sixteen. I am the pseudo older sister to a hilarious 13-year-old middle schooler, Thirteen. I will be taking advantage of those relationships to put some semblance of common sense judgement on the books I read.

Just like there are PG-13 movies that are closer to an R-rating and PG-13 movies that are closer to a PG rating, YA books are a spectrum of maturity, graphicness, and subject matter.

So that’s where the 13/16 test comes in.

Sixteen is nearing the end of the technical YA spectrum. She should be able to read every book that comes out for YA with no qualms about “appropriateness.”

Thirteen is solidly YA but still near the beginning. Logically, there will be books that maybe she should wait a year or two to explore. That’s ok.