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Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

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26 July 2009

Why I love Young Adult Books

My love of reading all things young adult probably started when my oldest daughter, Rebecca was in the 7th grade and had to read Lois Lowry's "The Giver". I wanted to know exactly what type of books they were asking the children to read and felt that i could talk to her about what she'd read. No, I'm definitely not one of those mom's that will scream and shout about the material they have their children read. I'm very open minded and know that some books are more hard hitting than other books and could possibly give them ideas about things that they normally wouldn't have thought of. However, it's a teaching lesson, right? So I read "The Giver" and immediately fell in love with the story and to tell the truth, I'm one of those people who found the ending quite sad, some people find it uplifting. But I pushed this book on so many of my friends because I thought it needed to be read. I never, ever regretted reading that story and I'm so glad that this book was on the list of books to be read. There was another book that my oldest read that I took a different attitude from. At first I blamed the book for introducing ideas into her young head especially during a trying time in the family. I was pregnant with my now five year old, and B was lashing out. See, she was an only child for 13 years, so she had every right to be upset. It was an upsetting time. But after she read Patricia McCormick's, "Cut", she started cutting herself. I would NEVER, EVER ban a book from my house, and I never banned it from my house, but I was skeptical about it. Was this really a book for a 13 year old? So I read it, and I'm glad I did because I realized that blaming the author or the storyline was really the wrong thing to do. Especially without knowing what the contest of the books was. It was a hardhitting book that pulled no punches and it explained in greater detail what my daughter was going through at the time. It made me understand her. Of course I was still freaked out that she was doing this and marking her young body, but it was her way of rebelling. After that, I tried to read as many books that was on her summer reading list or just books that she'd picked up to read randomly. It turned out that I absolutely adored the stories that I was reading, and she, not so much. Of course, there are still young adult books that I won't read and I won't label which ones they are, but there are still a ton of young adult authors that inspire me and challenge me every day. I completely understand why the young adult market is exploding as I type. I can't really say that Stephenie Meyer has opened it up for teens, but yeah, she's made it more accessible. The pioneer in young adult books and even middle grade books will always be Judy Blume. I devoured her books as a teenager. I should probably revisit them now in my 40s and see how they've held up. I will always love the young adult market even as I get up there in age, and I think the teens nowadays are so lucky for the choices they have. Young adult novels in the late 70s/early 80s was fairly non-existent. Judy Blume being the exception. I know I've told the above story before but it really was the definining moment for me and my love of all things YA. Funnily enough, I've yet to read Sarah Dessen or even Meg Cabot. I'm not saying that I shun adult type books too, because once in a while I need something light! :) But lately the YA market has been fantastic. I know I gushed about Barry Lyga's "Boy Toy", and I've finally finished it. And let me just tell you WOW! is what I can say! It was brilliantly conceived, unflinching, hard hitting and just an amazing story. THIS is what I like to read. Make me think about things, give me sides and let me be the deciding factor of what I think. Although, "Boy Toy" is a current story for our times, it's lingering effect on YA novels is amazing. Lyga didn't shy away or paint a clear picture, he presented the facts of which were amazing and he brought it to it's natural conclusion. I really think Kuehnart and Lyga write what they feel deep down inside. It's gritty, it's messy, but it's life. These two authors I hold in special distinction with Nick Hornby, another writer who's not afraid to pull any punches in his novels. With a slick voice and comedic timing, I can laugh out loud and cringe at the same time. They make me feel something that sometimes I find lacking in books. I'm wrapping this up, but I hope that people who read this post will look at books and think about how they make them feel and think. Just some recommendations: Barry Lyga "Boy Toy" Graphia Nick Hornby "High Fidelity" Riverhead Nick Hornby "Slam" Razorbill Stephanie Kuehnart "I wanna be your Joey Ramone" MTV Books

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