The importance of reading young adult.
So I have recently been absorbed into the book series which is Percy Jackson. If you haven’t heard of it is about a kid called Percy Jackson (sorry, spoilers) who after being attacked by monsters is taken to a strange camp to train and fight against them. This is because the Greek gods are real and hanging out in America and if you know anything about the Greek gods then you will know that they are a randy bunch and no matter their marital status will have little demi god children. And Percy is one of many, his father is Poseidon.
Now most people will tell me that this is a children’s book. To which I tell them that it is very immature to act like an adult and I will enjoy it all the same.
But i also say why YA is so good. and here are my reasons.
I have always found that the characters in a YA are never “normal” they have problems, issues and disabilities like we all do. Yet despite this the character will overcome it and win. In the Percy Jackson series this comes in the form of ADHD, dyslexia and other behavioural and learning difficulties. This is because a demi god’s brain is hard wired for combat (always moving ADHD) and reading Greek (dyslexia).
Personally I love this. I myself am dyslexic and although I would never use it as an excuse I do feel it hinder me. (Just there I needed to double back to change fell to feel and again with douple to double) I have now grown out and improved on this over the years and I think it is important that these issues exist for these characters, even the smart character Annabeth (daughter of Athena) has difficulty reading yet she is smarter than most people I know.
I feel it’s important because it gives hope. You can be the hero despite anything that holds you back.
- Minority characters.
It’s shocking that even today we have racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. So I always love when you have a large range of characters. Their race, sexuality or gender doesn’t have an effect on the story but they themselves do. And I see this happen all over the YA community.
In heroes of Olympus you have characters like Hazel, Frank Leo and Nico who are some of my favourites and all of them are from minorities.
But what I love seeing is when a writer creates their own minority. I see this in other novels such us the Divergent’s and the classless in divergent and Muggle born’s and squibs in Harry Potter. When someone creates a new minority there is no real world prejudice against them.
For example you can show such a minority being bullied and people will see how hurtful it is and bring that feeling into real life. This is particularly more effective in younger people, a study has even shown that kids reading harry potter have grown up to be more accepting to different people.
3. Being strange is ok
So I am going to take a Harry Potter character and run with her (metaphorically. Ok I would run with her literally as well because she is awesome). Luna.
Luna Lovegood is a witch who is very, very strange. She is a ravenclaw student; this shows she is very smart. Yet she believes in strange things like Nargals, as a potterhead I still don’t know what they are, she is the kind of person who believes in the loch ness monster or big foot and even without that she has a strange personality.
It is later revealed that her personality may be linked with her mental state. One of the strange things she sees is the thestrals, monstrous looking winged horses that you only see if you have seen death. Luna’s mother died when she was young. However even that is debatable as her father is equally strange and her mother might also be weird as well.
Yet she carries on. Despite being bullied at school and having her items stolen she still has a smile on her face and skips down the halls. It ultimately shows that for whatever reason being strange is good. Hell I would say it’s damn well great. And no one should make you stop.
So to conclude YA books show people that there is hope for you despite what holds you back, everyone is a human being and that being yourself is amazing and no one should make you stop.
To which I will leave you with one of my favourite Luna Lovegood line “you’re just as sane as I am.”