6/14/11

To Know We're Not Alone: #YASaves


The YA community has continued to rally, even as the initial sting of the Wall Street Journal article has faded somewhat. Last week, I bought one of the books mentioned in the article, both because I wanted to read it and because I felt compelled to support the author. I suspect I'm one of many, many people who did just that, so perhaps the effect of the article has been the opposite of what the author intended.

Adolescence is hard, under the best of circumstances. Kids go through all sorts of different things, but for kids who read, they have one big thing in common...

"We read to know we are not alone." ~ C.S. Lewis

The kid who's living through his parents' divorce...
The kid whose mom died in a car wreck...
The kid who lives in a foster home because his dad's in jail...
The kid who's failing algebra...
The kid whose biggest problem is getting his homework done...
The kid who comes to school hungry...
The kid who just moved to a new school and has no friends...
The kid whose boyfriend just dumped her...
The kid who's overweight and made fun of regularly...
The kid who wears glasses...

The kid who wants to be good at sports, but despite his best efforts, just isn't...
The kid who contemplates suicide and cuts because she thinks it relieves the pain...
The girl who dreams big...
The boy who can't wait to grow up...
The girl whose parents love and adore her...
The boys whose parents are so proud of him...

No matter the situation... good or bad...

They read to know they're NOT ALONE.

#YASaves indeed.

5 comments:

  1. When I was in high school a book called I Never Promised you a Rose Garden came out. It was about a girl who tried to commit suicide. All the parents and librarians got in an uproar. But the book became a must read in every Middle school and high school.

    I love that you have such belief and passion about what you write. Dig deep and use that connection and understanding in your writing.

    Teresa

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  2. Well said, Amy! I think one of the coming-of-age books when I was YA was "Go Ask Alice." Not that I was tempted to be a drug addict (hate needles!), but I really could relate at the time to the character's pain and need to numb herself that way. I never censored what my kids read. Heck, I'd just be happy to know my son DID read something! lol

    Kally

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  3. I don't censor what my son reads either... although I do try to make suggestions for him, of books I think he'll enjoy and also help him learn something along the way. If there's a book I wouldn't want him to read, I wouldn't suggest it to him, but if he came to me and wanted to read it, I would read it along with him.

    My mom and I read all the E.B. White and Judy Blume books when I was young. When I could choose my own reading material, I read a LOT of true crime books and mysteries. My parents never censored my reading. My dad thought the true crime books were "weird", but I don't think either of them ever thought I was going to "become" something bad that I'd read about in a book!

    Nowadays, in my day-job, I see many many kids dealing with the problems I described in this post. Most of them read... at least a little. And if a book does nothing more than provide them with an escape from their real-life... whether it's a terrible real life or just a normal one ... they I say more power to them!

    Thanks for stopping by, Kally!

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  4. Teresa, I remember there being somewhat of a stink over Judy Blume's "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret", because it dealt with a middle school aged girl getting her first period. My mom and I read that book together when I was in middle school. I've never been able to figure out what was so controversial about that book... even in 1987! Ironic that today, this book is thought of as one of the "standards" or "classics" in YA fiction - as it SHOULD be. Just demonstrates that what we find shocking TODAY, will be the standard and the classic a few years down the road!

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  5. I made a mistake. I Never Promised you A Rose Garden was about mental illness. And it's still available. So, now it's a classic.
    Check it out.
    Teresa

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