Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Read YA ~ Say You?

I've created stories my entire life. It started as a youngster, creating alternative endings to movies I watched. The venue then morphed to assigned papers during my schooling years, which extended to collecting personal thoughts in journals. Some of those personal ponderings became part of assigned fiction papers in English class. Other tales I jotted down served as ways to explore my world. And, of course, there are those I've kept in my head my entire life for my own amusement. 

One way I've fueled my creative juices has been to read. Read everything and anything I can get my hands on - or, in our new digital world, my eyes on. I'm sure those of you reading this who are writers will concur that the number one advice wannabe writers are given is to read. 

But the time comes when reading from the cornucopia of possibilities narrows itself down to reading what the writer desires to write about, wants to share his/her thoughts with the world. Write what you know, we've all heard. For me, writing what I know and exploring the world we live in has always steered me to children's literature.

Why?

There are many reasons, and these reasons are personal to me as a writer. I'm sure those of you who write for children have your own motives for choosing to create in the children's market. I could spend a series of posts exploring my 'whys'. Those would differ from the world of picture books to middle grade through young adult. I could say its because I have four children of my own, which would be true. I could also say it's because I enjoy juggling the angst and joys, the adventures and discoveries of all that makes growing up so important. 

So why would anyone tell me because I'm no longer a child it's wrong for me to read children's literature?

Most of you have heard about the recent article bashing those of us who read young adult books. And when I say those of us, I'm referring to adults in general, not just writers. I won't give the article anymore credence than to provide you with its title ~ Yes, Adults Should Be Embarrassed To Read Young Adult Books. Feel free to Google it.

Except for the publishing world and its need to thrive, what I read should matter to no one but me. 

The author of said article argues one point using the ever and currently popular book The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, stating that it was "... a nicely written book for a 13-year-old...", but "Oh brother..." Which lead the author to ask the audience if this made her heartless or grown up. 

Must an adult be heartless when reading a young adult tale? Should adults downplay the true emotions of a book simply because the main characters are earlier on in their life's journey of learning? Because as adults we've lived and seen more, felt tragedy, and been tarnished by the harsh realities of the real world? Or should an adult reader of YA take the wisdom he/she has learned and let it fuel the story for their own personal read? Does being a grown-up mean tossing all youthful feelings to the wind? 

I dare say NOT. I will continue to read young adult literature, as I will continue to write it.

Gosh, what would the author of said article say to those Picture Book authors who read picture books? Or to the bazillion, responsible parents (ADULTS) out there who read middle grade books before their kids read them?

Here's a little badge I created for you. Feel free to use it on your site, as an avatar, or even a profile pic. 

HEARTS,
 photo Sheri2.png

16 comments:

  1. Yes! I read a lot. Some adult, a lot YA and some MG. I don't care what the age is for - I just enjoy a good story!

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  2. I love YA! I like adult, NA, and MG too. I read what I want to read as should anyone else. It always irks me when someone says such a snide comment like, "Oh, this would be a good story if you were a 13-year-old girl" or something like that. And on a similar topic, people shouldn't care what genre someone reads either. As long as people are reading, I'm good with that. :)

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    1. Said wonderfully! I didn't want to give this article too much attention, because I think it's a waste of time. But, when I read it, I got so ticked off. Why do people judge others? I just don't get it. Martin Luther King said it best, "Can't we all just get along?"

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  3. I suspect romance readers have felt the similarly reader-bashed for ever now. Honestly, it just doesn't bother me when these articles are released. I'm actually beginning to think the authors of said articles are hoping to strike a nerve so they can have their 15 minutes. She may not have had any strong opinion about YA until she realized it would gain her exposure. Like you I'll read what I want. I won't even bother to defend myself.

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  4. I have a another news flash for that person - the people who write books for teens and kids are almost always adults. What does that say about them?

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    1. Perfect! Honestly, the argument could go on and on, brimming with multiple examples. I chose to state my peace and be done with it.

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  5. Hah! I read young to stay young. This snooty sophisticated writing? Meh. Have at it literary majors. I'll take the stories that get me feeling and remembering what firsts are like.

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  6. I read whatever appeals to me whatever the label. I don't know why authors have gotten so contentious lately. We bash each other for everything. It's dumb. Genre writers are no more hacks than any other kind of writer. And reading is to make you wonder and think. All those wonderful books I read as a kid certainly did that. And they stick in my memory.

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    1. Yes, yes, yes! I absolutely agree. I can't figure out, for the life of me, why this is even an issue. Well, I guess it's only an issue to those who pay it attention. So ... now more! LOL

      Happy Reading,

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  7. I read everything. There are hidden gems all over the place. I read YA for me, and then MG with the kiddos (and picture books, of course.)

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  8. YA is my favorite thing to read and I'm proud of it. It's what I write and it's the age that I remember best in my life. I also think reading YA keeps me feeling young, and I'm all for that. :)

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  9. Yes, I do read YA, and there are some great MG! We can enjoy whatever we want to enjoy!

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  10. Authors, agents, and editors are a different category, as we have to keep up with what's going on in our industry. One of the great perks of the job! That being said, that writer's article was hogwash. It's a sign of humility, and a healthy love of fun, when someone retains some of their youthful spark.

    As a literary agent who does YA I have to read YA, but if I became a janitor tomorrow I'd still read it. It's fun and makes my life that much brighter. Good call!

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    1. Ooh, 'youthful spark' is right! That basically sums up what I was saying. For me, I love thinking in a youthful way. That doesn't make me irresponsible. Frankly, my four kids - who range from age 10 to 20 - rather have me that way. Of course, as I mentioned, the industry's POV is a totally different animal and rightly so.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting!

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  11. Good for you! I remember reading that article and becoming so angry. I'm way past being a "young adult" yet, I love reading YA novels. I have always written YA short stories as well. Every writer is different, writes different and thinks different. I love that. I love that we all have our own individuality. And writing what we know, always leads me back to times and experiences of my life that sometimes turn into a story.

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    1. Great comment. Love it! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Yvonne.

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