Yesterday, while at a talk about significance of education in the 21st century, I tweeted that I think that writing is at heart about teaching. If reading is a way to learn about new places, different experiences, and new ideas, then writing is in part a way of teaching about all of those things.
Considering that truth, I started to think about the lessons that young adult fiction has taught me over the years. Young adult because it’s what I write, of course, but also because the writing for that age group marks a moment of transition. YA lit falls into that space where we stop reading because our parents tell us to and start reading because we find it enjoyable, fascinating, and, maybe even instructive. Even in seemingly the most pleasurable reads, there are lessons to be gleaned, from which we can mold our philosophies about life. And the books that I have read have definitely provided me with valuable life lessons. Without these Top Ten teachings, I would certainly be lost.*
10. Do not call people with red hair “Carrots.”
9. If you want people to do your chores for you, all you have to do is make your chores seem like they are the most fun thing ever. (I tried this one on my younger sibs back in the day and it actually worked. 🙂 )
8. When in doubt, follow the yellow brick road.
7. Though it may not seem like it, because all of your older sibs pick on you, it is always a good thing to be the seventh son of a seventh son.
6. Drinking dragon’s milk will turn your eyes green.
5. I may have actually have magic powers and be descended from powerful witches, but I won’t discover for sure unless I move to Massachusetts.
4. Vampires, not aliens, are responsible for all things good and technologically advanced in the modern world.
3. If you don’t want people to think you are evil, don’t talk to snakes.
2. Never, ever, trust the huge disembodied brain nor the man with red eyes that speaks for it.
1. If some weird looking, obviously non-human guy offers you a ring of power: JUST SAY NO!
Ok, so not all of these lessons are applicable to my every day life–well except maybe for #s 10, 9, & 2–nevertheless, they are important concepts to know. Perhaps in the near future, I will post a blog about the top ten lessons that are most relevant to my reality.
Oh yeah, and points for you if you can guess the books that I reference here. Leave your guesses in the comments below, or post them here.
*I am including novels here that are both about young adults and geared to a young adult audience.