My life’s work is to inspire kids to love reading. In order to do this effectively, I have to read many children’s and young adult books. For some, this may be a difficult task as the thought of young adult reads lends itself to automatically assuming a simplistic plot line, unsophisticated word choice, and a predictable ending. And yes, some young adult novels meet this criterion; however, I feel that most would be surprised about the type of novels that are out there for young adults.
We all know the big series: Twilight, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. All of these are great in their own way. What I loved about the interest in these series is that it caused parents to read what their kids were reading. Parents, teachers, and students began speaking the same literary language.
Carolyn Mackler is one of my favorite young adult authors. Her novel, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, is amazing and captures the struggles of a young girl that is trying to discover her own voice. Mackler has a creative way of capturing the young adult voice without playing into stereotypes or sensationalizing the experiences of today’s teenager.
As summer approaches, I would encourage all to read a young adult novel. I am sure that you would be pleasantly surprised. I have included a link to Carolyn Mackler’s blog and a link to a blog that provides great young adult novel selections.