How Young Adult fiction is re-teaching me to love books


This year I switched jobs to something I could actually see myself doing for more than a year. I am currently working as an elementary school librarian. I spend my days in the only upstairs room of our school, surrounded by books, and enjoying my wall of windows that looks right at the continental divide. Wow. Heaven. Additionally, I get to help kids love books. I get to be super nerdy and get excited about books and stories.

But besides getting them excited about books, I have found that I am getting re-excited about books. I didn’t realize I had ever become unexcited, but it seems that maybe I had become more of a habitual reader and less of an excited reader.

I spent the last few years reading a lot of heavy stuff about female circumcision and girls in Africa, and I learned so much! I wouldn’t trade those times and those books. When I finished researching and started perusing books for grown-ups, I found that all I wanted to read was fiction written by females and usually about Africa. And it took A LOT to get me actually excited about a book and ย A LOT to get me excited to sit down and read.

Then I started this job and started perusing books for kids. I call that professional development. Now, instead of having to search and search for the next book, I have a stack piling up of what I want to read next. And it’s all Young Adult fiction.

Why does it feel SO good to read these books?

Reading so many serious grown-up books for the past few years was like eating salad all the time. Reading picture books to my students is like eating dessert 5 times a day. And reading YA fiction is like a hearty, healthy main course. It’s rich, it’s bold, it offers the same comfort as mama’s home cookin. ๐Ÿ™‚

The writing is fresh. The stories are more imaginative than anything I have read in years. Things aren’t so complicated on these pages, and I can see how much I can learn about writing and reading and loving books by reading this stuff. As my pile of ‘to-read’ books grows steadily, I am beginning to think it’s going to be year of reading Young Adult novels. ๐Ÿ™‚


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