Written by Juliana Bringer. Media by Mary Todd Christian
Have you ever gone to the library or a bookstore and found a book that sounded interesting, yet was labeled Children’s or Young Adult, so you passed it up? Maybe you thought it was too juvenile, or too simple. However, there are benefits of reading Children’s and Young Adult novels even as a college student or beyond that. Some of my favorite books are Young Adult novels and I enjoy Children’s books as well.
Most people argue reading from a Children’s or a Young Adult book can seem redundant. We feel as if we have already passed those years of our lives and the content does not pertain to us. Yet, we can still learn a thing or two from reading these categories. Most YA books are meant to teach young people about life and the typical (and sometimes untypical) situations that can occur. Sometimes these lessons can be forgotten as we grow up, or maybe we have never really thought about it. Even though they are not necessarily meant for us, there is a possibility that YA books can help us realize this.
If it is a simple read, then YA and Children’s literature can be used as a distraction or an escape from the difficulties of an adult life. Sometimes, we need something that won’t have us thinking too hard. A simple story can act as a relaxation tip. The stories can be generally easy to understand, and end happily. The adventures taken can give us a sense of escape without complicating it further like an adult novel would. However, not all Children’s or Young Adult books are simplistic. People tend to disregard these categories as simple though many may deal with more complicated plots. Young Adult books are meant to help teenage readers grow into more experienced readers. These books start to introduce more adult content, but at the same time keep it appropriate for teenagers.
People have said these books always close with a happy ending. This is not always the case. Books like The Fault In Our Stars or The Outsiders, do not have what we think of as happy endings. They end in heartbreak, tragedy and death. I’ve noticed many Children’s and Young Adult books that deal with difficult topics and not only happy-go-lucky plots.
I personally love reading Young Adult books as well as Adult books. They can be just as entertaining and beneficial. Not to mention, they span over many different genres. Not all Young Adult novels are created equally. They feature all sorts of issues and topics that can be relatable to anyone. Also, Greenville College offers a Children’s Literature course that goes through different ways Children’s books are written and the ages that the books are meant for. Some recommendations for the good Children’s and Young Adult books to read are Maximum Ride series, The Hunger Games, The Inheritance Cycle, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Books of Pellinor, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Alex Rider series, A Wrinkle In Time and many more. There are many other good books out there that can be easy to find.
In the end, don’t let your age ultimately determine what you read. Whether it is a Children’s, YA, or Adult book, read what you enjoy. You never know, you might learn or relearn a thing or two.