Young at Heart

Long before we had children, my husband and I had a large collection of children’s literature. My books mainly consisted of awesome stories, while my husband accumulated his selection on the basis of artwork. My interest in children’s literature has not waned over the years; in fact, just the opposite. Not only am I constantly reading sweet picture books, but my knowledge of young adult literature is also expanding.

Every week, the kiddos and I visit the library. We spend well over an hour perusing shelves looking for the newest in print, along with well-loved favorites. One place I frequent is the young adult area of the library.

Young at HeartIn Young Adults you will find a fun section with popular YA series, which the librarians have cleverly and helpfully put together for our perusal; there is a classic, graphic novel, and “New Book” section as well. There is something for everyone!

Why read YA fiction? I suppose it might seem a bit immature to some. However, I think there are several good reasons to be reading YA literature.

  • Parental Guidance – I don’t want to take someone else’s word when it comes to an acceptable read for our children. If I have already read the book or read other works by the author, I have a better idea of whether or not my children should read it too.
  • Conversation Pieces – When I have already read a particular book or author, I will not only be able to recommend this to my children, but we will also be able to have wonderful conversations about them. Did we like the book? Was there a lesson to be learned? Oh, the list is endless….
  • World View Training – It’s amazing how much junk is in YA literature. It is actually pretty good training to read through this material, weed through the nonsense, and then be able to explain to my babies why they should be on guard for such nonsense.
  • It’s Fun – YA fiction has the distinction of still being creative, imaginative, and fun without all the craziness that often comes with adult literature, such as language and intimacy. This is not a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking most YA fiction is pretty harmless.

While I highly recommend reading the classics, I think a good YA novel is also fun on occasion. Besides, they’re a quick read.

So, which YA reads have I gone through? Whew… That is a long list, so let me hit the tops. I DID NOT read the Twilight series, let’s get that straight right now. The books are so poorly written I wouldn’t have gotten past the second chapter. I did read The Hunger Games though. Those aren’t extremely well written either, but there was a lot to talk about with my oldest daughter. (At the time, all the kiddos her age were reading them and I knew she might want to head that direction herself. So, I picked them up and ran through them. Surprisingly, they aren’t as violent as I expected and, as I mentioned, tons to talk about. It wasn’t my favorite read, but I really enjoyed the conversations we were able to have.)

I have also recently read through the Uglies series. Wow! I really enjoyed those books. Again, maybe not the most well written books, but there was so much to talk about! Lots of underlying world views, self-image issues, and more to be discussed. A good mother/daughter read? 

My current read is Scarlet, book two in The Lunar Chronicles. So far, it is pretty good; fairly well written and engaging. The novel combines both the story of Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella into this modern retelling with tons of interesting twists and angles. I am curious to see how this progresses. I wonder if there will be another book? Oooo… I don’t like when they do that; I have to wait a whole ‘nother year to read the sequel. Yuck!

I am just about done with Scarlet and then it is back to adult non-fiction/research for a little bit. It was nice to have a quick break though.

What was the last YA read you picked up?