Wednesday, August 25, 2010

indulging in young adult lit

Our school has a fabulous librarian who has her finger on the pulse of all the great children and young adult literature. This summer she introduced me to John Green, and I have quickly devoured 3 of his 4 books. (The 4th is currently sitting in my to-read pile)

I'm only upset that these books weren't there for me when I was in middle school and high school to get me through my own teenage -angst.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Green co-wrote, and is absolutely brilliant. As is An Abundance of Katherines. I laughed out loud reading Paper Towns, but I didn't love it nearly as much as the first two. Still, all 3 books somehow reveal the ins and outs of high school and teen angst while managing to give credit and respect to the teenagers making their way through the rite of passage that is being a teenager. In his books Green conveys the importance of this time in our lives and how it sets us up for who we are later in life.

I'm totally in love with these books and the characters. My friends in high school were these characters. My brothers in high school were these characters. These characters are how I imagine my husband and my friends in high school even though I didn't know him then. At least, the characters are who we all thought we were- bright, witty, on top of the world, yet somewhat humble and becoming keenly aware of the limits of our personalities.

Then of course, there is Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games. The third book in the HG series came out yesterday and I basically cleared my schedule to sit on my porch to devour it.

When my partner-in-crime first recommended The Hunger Games I was horrified. Describing what the books are about is not fair to the books- they sound horrible, and you can't imagine why anyone would read them, let alone write them. What could possibly be wrong with that author that this was in her imagination? But if you do read them because you have respect for whoever recommended them, you'll discover they are about so much more than their plot outlines, and you'll be hooked.

So I'm not going to even tell you what the series is about. I read somewhere that Suzanne Collins wanted to write about how adolescence react in times of war, and I think that is the best description of the series. It shows how humanity reacts when stressed, the different paths we take, our different gut reactions when pushed to our limits. Now that all 3 books are out you can read them back to back, not having to wait for months to find out what happens. I'd run to the bookstore- I hear the first one is originally out in paperback. (Unless you live in a town with 0 teenagers you are not going to get this book at the library.)

So, if you're looking for something to read to get your mind off back-to-school stress, go play in the young adult section.

Happy Reading!


Mary said...

I resisted reading "Hunger Games" for a long time after I read the description! But then I found it for $5.50 at Costco and couldn't resist. I've only finished the first three chapters, but so far so good!

Vagabond Teacher said...

You've sold me. I'll look for the books!

magpie said...

You're so up to date with me on this one.
Here in OZ we have our annual education bookwekk thingamy jig thing and they announce all the book awards.
I just happened to be with a class that got to go to the library and the wonderful librarian at this school is a mad YA reader.
I loved watching her go on and on about her favourite author, Odo Hirsch, and found out an interesting fact that he always has a cake in each book.
I'll have to include your suggestions as well. See Ya ☺☺☺

Leslie Ann said...

I love John Green's books! You cannot put them down...I noticed you didn't say anything about his book called Looking for Alaska. If you haven't read it, you must! I think it is his best.. I was hooked after I read it. :)