Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Young Adult Books Deserve More Respect

THE BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD by Kristin Levine is one of my favorite reads this summer. It pairs well with THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett and my favorite book of all time, Hapre Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. The protagonist is a shoeless 13 year old boy, Dit, who lives in the south. The year is 1917. At the beginning he is axiously awaiting the arrival of the train, always a big event in his little Alabama town. They are getting a new postmaster and he's hoping the new family will have a boy to befriend. Instead, a black family steps off the train and he sees a girl wearing a fancy dress and black patent leather shoes. Dit chalks up his misfotune to bad luck. Little does he know that Emma and he will have an adventure like no other.

I loved this book, too, because of the time frame. My mom was born in 1916, so it was like experiencing a little bit of her life.

This book was recommended to me by a middle school media specialist. But I'm almost afraid to mention that it is a YA, young adult book, in fear that you will just dismiss it. Young Adult books are some of the best books written today.

You do know the age of middle school children, right? 13, 14, 15...easy ages to impress, eh? NOT! I am lucky to be a librarian who has to read these books but truth be known, I started reading them when I was a stay at home mom with two young children. I wanted to earn some money and decided I would write books for children. How hard can it be? I soon found out that ALL writing is hard,  but to capture this audience particularly difficult.

Next time you hear about a young adult book, take a chance, you will be glad you did!

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