In the most current issue of School Library Journal, YA author Shannon Hale writes a great essay on how she lost and regained a love of reading.
Her journey from avid reader to disenchanted skeptic and back to a book-lover provides some thought-provoking ideas for all of us involved with kids & young adults and books; it may even mirror some of our own experiences exactly. I was particularly struck by her discovery of YA:
“Apparently there was this new genre out there, Young Adult literature, that I had never explored. Curious about where my book seemed to fit in, I went to the YA section of my local library and browsed, led by title, cover, how the first words slinked around me and pulled me closer. I read one, then another, and another, book after book like a starved girl.
I had found it—my one true genre (cue angelic choir again). Who knew? Here was the land where Story and Wordsmithery could live hand-in-hand, where ideas sang to me and characters were relatable and flawed but also rich with hope.”
There’s never been a better time, I think, than now for children’s and young adult publishing – the variety, quantity, quality, skill, and dollars put into this part of the market is fantastic. Young people today have so many amazing options to choose from and it’s our job and our great honor to make it all available to them and encourage them to dive in and discover the “Reader Girls” and “Reader Dudes” within them.
- Posted by Cori