The phrase, YOUNG MAN IN THE PROVINCES, was used by Lionel Trilling, famous literary critic of the 20th century, for a kind of novel that deals with the experiences of a young provincial in a great city. Classic examples are Fielding's Tom Jones and Dicken's Great Expectations. Or YOUNG WOMAN IN THE PROVINCES, would be Dreiser's Sister Carrie.
Another twist on this theme is when the pernicious forces of the city move to the outermost provinces and corrupt a pure savage-- this pattern appears in Huxley's Brave New World.
Can you think of any modern YA novels that have this element as a major theme? With either a boy or a girl as a main character? Remember, the main elements are city and country, and how these different environments affect experience. (Like in the children's story about the city mouse and the country mouse.)
(This post has been inspired by and in some instances, directly quoted from A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition, by William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman)