Welcome to Teen Read Week
By Jessica on October 17th, 2011
This week is Teen Read Week, so you can imagine all of the excitement that we have had around here at OOM. YA literature just seems to be all around lately. The New York Times had an Op Ed piece entitled No More Adventures in Wonderland by Maria Tater, where she laments the lack of whimsy in teen literature. On the other hand, Brian McGreevy wrote an article, Why Teens Should Read Adult Fiction arguing that teenagers need to not be sheltered from adult themes. So who’s right?
I don’t think there is a clear answer. I think you have to leave it up to the teen reading the book. It becomes their experience. These conflicting articles got Morgan and I (two massive YA buffs) talking about what we read as teenagers and how it differs from today.
Morgan brought up the point of the voraciousness of teens and their books. “It feels like when a teen loves something, they really love it, in an all consuming way. That was certainly the case with me and the books and music that I loved as a teen.” I had to agree. I think as a teenager, you just feel everything more intensely. I think it has something to do with that time in your life. Even going back and rereading books you loved as a teen as an adult, you have a different relationship with the book. Morgan attributed this to the fact that “we, as readers, grow and change. The things we read are certainly a big reason why.”
Teen and YA books are dominating much of popular culture right now, I believe in part because of this connection. Yes, a teen and an adult both reading The Hunger Games or Twilight or Harry Potter or any number of the other YA books out there are probably getting different experiences from the same story. Isn’t that the point of reading? Teens and adults have both adored these series but I venture a guess that it is in a different way. And isn’t that the point? Books at any age will reach you as the reader in the way that they need to at the time you read them. They can give you a better understanding of the world you live in and help you to see your world with greater clarity. Adults and teens are not in the same points in their lives so therefore bring different experiences to the story. It doesn’t matter what someone is reading really as long as they are exploring their world in a way that makes sense to them. This Teen Read Week; introduce a teenager you know or yourself to YA literature. If you happen to know a voracious teen reader, ask for a book suggestion and jump right in. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Teen Read Week than by reading!
As Morgan and I are always looking for book suggestions, leave us a comment telling us what we should read next!