Study Guide

Jacob Have I Loved Genre

By Katherine Paterson

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Coming of Age; Young Adult Literature

Louise literally grows up on the page before our eyes, so it's pretty fitting to call this book a coming-of-age story. She starts out as a 13-year-old girl with all the confusion and drama that comes with being that age, and she grows into a young woman with a husband, family, and nursing degree. In the end, it takes Louise all those years to work out her complicated feelings about her family and her childhood and to finally come into her own in the mountains of Appalachia. We're proud of you, Louise.

As for being young adult lit, Louise's struggle is highly relatable—all young people have to dig deep at some point and reevaluate their understanding of things—plus the book deals with classic young adult experiences like young love, sibling rivalry, jealousy, and more. Add in the fact that the language is super digestible, and we have ourselves a YA classic.

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