This interesting call for papers was posted at a list I'm on:
"A Dragon Wrecked My Prom: Teen Wizards and High School"
'The Dead rose--we should at least have an assembly.'- Xander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
High School is difficult enough to negotiate without having to save the world, but, as a whole genre of teen fiction has explored, teens seem able to do both. Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the novels of Diane Duane, Tanya Huff, and Mercedes Lackey, as well as numerous comics, graphic novels, and cartoons, all present audiences with teens who wield extraordinary powers while battling the everyday demons of adolescence. This collection will explore the unique figure of the teen wizard--a category broad enough to encapsulate Nita Callahan and Kit Rodrigues, the spellcasting teens of Duane's 'Young Wizards' series, as well as Diana, the teen heroine of Tanya Huff's 'Keepers' series, Willow Rosenberg (of Buffy), Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Vanyel Ashkevron (the last herald mage of Mercedes Lackey's 'Valdemar' novels) and numerous other mystical teens span a whole array of different media. How do magic and adolescence go together, and how are mystical energies bound up with the pain, turmoil, and abjection of being a teenager? And why is the figure of the teen wizard so manifestly popular?
Please submit a 500-1000 word abstract, along with a CV, to: jbattis_at_gmail_dot_com. Deadline: August 30, 2007. Grad student submissions are welcome, as are creative/critical and multimedia mixtures. Publisher information will be forthcoming, but I anticipate strong interest from a press.
Any questions/queries can be directed to: Jes Battis: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Postdoctoral Fellow, City University New York
It seems to me (based on my own experience) fairly obvious that teenagers, especially younger ones, might like to read about kids their own age with magical powers and such because of feeling rather powerless and directionless themselves...quests and such certainly add structure and purpose to one's life.