Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Prophecy, A Quest and A Fatal Flaw: One Adult's Case for Reading Kid Lit


If you haven’t been reading kids' books, you are missing out. The drama, complexity and humor of many juvenile fiction books make for great reads, no matter your age. As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, and one who was well into adulthood when they were first published, I learned that a good story can simply be a good story. It is said that J.K. Rowling did not write Harry Potter as a kids' book on purpose; she was just telling the story of a boy wizard. The characters mature in her seven-book series, and we often see that similar arc in other juvenile fiction series. These stories grow in depth and maturity the further we get. 
Once I had read all the HP books, I was in search of more – the same magic, drama and sincerity that I found reading Rowling’s work. There are tons of great books to explore, many of which, I've found, share these compelling characteristics:
  • It seems like most of the time, good wins over evil -- mostly. But we do see sadness, we even see death. Such is real life. But still, most of these tales are full of heart and hope. 
  • They are real page-turners. They are written to keep you engrossed in the story. There are prophecies and quests and characters learning about their strengths and their fatal flaws.
  • You might even learn something! Riordan’s Percy Jackson books are full of mythological characters that – though tweaked for these stories -- are actually based on the myths we were supposed to read in high school and college.
  • You won’t get much swearing or any R-rated stuff here. These books are squeaky clean. 
  • You want adventure? You got it! These are some crazy stories and will keep you on the edge of   your seat.
  • If you are feeling generous, you can totally share these with the kids in your life. Listening to audio books of kids' lit is a near-daily activity in my household. Better yet, check out the book too and listen as you read along. It’s a very good way to help see how challenging words are spelled – especially in the Percy Jackson/mythology books.
  • Stop by the Kids Desk or the Recommendations Desk to learn more about the many great tales of adventure.

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