Various comments have been made and made again disparaging recent popular authors that do nothing to address why they are popular. I would say this: Rowling and Meyer, and many other YA authors offer readers something that they can't find anywhere else. Consumability. When I was in High School we were forced to read literature that made us think about things. Literature that taught us important lessons about ourselves that we then had to write essays about. And I think most of my classmates hated it. And then came to the conclusion that they hated reading. But Harry Potter offers something that Atlas Shrugged or The Bell Jar or Catcher in the Rye never got a handle on. Readers, average readers, readers who don't want to expand their horizons past a good story, can sit down and cut through them. They don't have to write a paper about them, they don't have to take notes, and they can talk to all the other "non" readers about them.