Young Adult Literature · Youth Materials

Children’s Literature–Hallelujah!

Children’s literature is rolling itself out nicely into my expectant arms. Hopefully it will lie peacefully and not claw my eyes out. Let’s leave that for my future cat (who’s coming in two weeks!). Our final project is a reading log of 70 books–30 novels and 40 picture books. Let the bonanza begin, indeed.

I was perusing the young adult stacks of Bloomington’s library and lightly throwing up at the two and a half shelves dedicated to Twilight when I came upon 1984 by George Orwell. Because it’s a novel that was on my “to read” list, I was confused by its placement. But then I realized that it’s almost always used in high school English classes. Funny how I thought it may be wrongly placed because I had a personal interest in it. But there is plenty of young adult literature that I may read now, even though the intended audience is teen and the writing style or literary devices (motifs, symbols, theme) aren’t usually as complex as adult literature.

They say the angst ridden teenage years are best forgotten. So can you, as an adult, imagine entering a teen’s erratic (yet delightful) mind to comprehend his or her ideal book collection? Talk about a bull in a china shop. GENTLE. And how do you balance popularity with age appropriateness? I mean, it’s always lovely that children and teens are reading in any form, so I wouldn’t want to ignore their requests for somewhat mindless reads. A classmate of mine said that when teens would ask for drama-laden, pulpy nonsense that she would get it for them but then suggest an accompanying book that was written by, say, someone who understands that there’s more literary devices than hyperbole.

So, I left the library with 1984; Hatchet; A Wrinkle in Time; and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. The first three are obviously classics but the fourth one is of my own personal interest. I realize the irony behind just talking about pulpy nonsense but hear me out. I read this humorous series about a British teenage girl the last time I had bangs (I’m so glad they came back in style) and I apparently liked it. As I come to read it, I will certainly provide you enlivening details.

To end with, may  I provide you a taste of library ingenuity:

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