[dropcap letter=”B”]eing a parent is one of the most important jobs in the world—you will either realize this on your own when you become one yourself, or a parent will tell you. Nursing infants and keeping toddlers alive to the best of your abilities trains you for years of protecting them, looking out for potentially upsetting dangers to their physical as well as mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Years of carefully training your kids to consume what’s good for them extends to the friends they hang out with, the shows they watch, and yes, the books they read.
In case you’re curious about what your baby, I’m sorry, young adult has been reading lately, here are a few books that are popular with the young’uns you might want to check out:
Following the death of his grandfather, Jacob Portman travels to Wales with his father to learn more about his grandfather’s past. There he discovers an orphanage for “gifted” children in a time loop, where he finds love and new friends, as well as the realization that he, like his grandfather, is also Peculiar. Jacob’s gift is that he can see the hollowgasts – invisible creatures bent on hunting and destroying all Peculiars. With his new friends, Jacob narrowly escapes an attack, and sets off on another adventure for a sequel.
The Time Quintet, as these five books by Madeleine L’Engle have come to be known, is composed of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. It chronicles the time-hopping, dimension-warping adventures of the members of the Murry and O’Keefe families, and isn’t what one would consider entry-level YA as it deals with potentially headache-inducing metaphysical concepts like the battle between good and evil, kything, and the malleability of time. It also tackles religious concepts, the bond between friends and family, as well as sexuality.
The story’s protagonist Leo isn’t the main focus of the story, but instead new student Susan Caraway, also known as Stargirl. In a community that prizes conformity above all else, Stargirl marches to the beat of her own ukulele-accompanied marching band, doing anonymous good deeds and promoting individuality by example. Throughout the story Stargirl begins to inspire other students to become more comfortable with being true to themselves, and she and Leo begin a tentative romance. Leo, however, eventually breaks up with her because he can’t handle being shun by the rest of the student population. Stargirl, at one point, attempts to fit in, to no success. She goes back to embracing her uniqueness, and creates a legacy not just in the community but in the people whose lives she’s touched.
—hat “they don’t want a 24-hour hump sesh, they don’t want to be married to you for a hundred years. They just want to hold your hand.”
How about you? What are your favorite YA novels?