So this week I wanted to feature a bunch of my most favorite bloggers. The gals that I really enjoy reading because they are authoritative, thoughtful, and creative whenever they set out to post on their blogs. I am not sure if my readership is also reading them too but they should be!
Today we have a bit more of a serious post about the importance of YA lit which I really found insightful thanks to Ash @ Typing Tiara. Ash is "twenty-three years old with four Associate of the Arts degrees" (wow!) who is "happiest when reading young adult literature" and who totally fangirls over Sarah Dessen. Check her out on Twitter & Goodreads!
When Jenny first contacted me about writing a guest post for her blog I was ecstatic, as a relatively new blogger (Typing Tiara is only a year old!) and basically an unknown I haven't had that opportunity before. Of course I said yes! I grew even more excited when she basically gave me free rein to write on whatever I wanted: writing, blogging, reading, YA in general. How is a girl supposed to choose just one of those topics? I think I had at least a dozen false starts, I rewrote this post at least double that in my head before ultimately deciding on...a MEDLEY. After all, who doesn't love a good medley?
I've always been a bit of a nerd, made worse when I was a child by the fact that we lived with my grandparents out in the middle of nowhere...I couldn't have friends over because we didn't want to disturb them and even if I could, there was no one close by. So I studied a lot, did homework, and READ. Oh did I read. I devoured books as fast I could get a hold of them. I read everywhere and everything. Even my Mom's romance novels and my Nana's National Enquirer magazines...probably not the best reading material for a kid. Books were my escape, I made amazing friends there, had amazing adventures; adventures I used to carry out on their huge property through epic battles, daring rescues, and visitations by mythical creatures.
Needless to say I grew up with reading, I loved it, but I really hit my stride when I became a true blue young adult. A member of the YA community though I didn't know there even was such a thing at the time. I learned through these books, they were still an escape yet they became more to me. I learned about the world around me, I learned about people, I began to UNDERSTAND. When I struggled with something, there was a book about it. I discussed these books with my Mom if the material was troubling, I questioned it, she'd read it along with me. We'd learn together.
These days YA Literature is the subject of a great deal of criticism. Critics say it is too dark, too unrealistic, not what children should be reading, and worst of all that it isn't real literature. Its fluff. This is just demeaning young adults everywhere. Taking away YA Literature, dismissing it as nothing, is no better than dismissing them. The darkness comes out of that dismissal. YA Literature gives them a voice, it lets them know they are not alone, that someone somewhere out there has gone through what they have and come out on the other end.
YA Lit matters.
Madeline L'Engle, one of my favorite authors, once said: "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children". When I'm not reading, and when I have the extra time, I'm a writer. I participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) whenever I can. My audience? Young adults. Why? Because they understand and crave understanding of their own. Because they are flexible. Because they are forgiving and receiving. Because YA literature is every bit as important as literature written with adults in mind. Because they matter.