Friday, May 23, 2014

Why Ginger Reads YA

This past week I've been participating on twitter and Instagram for #IReadYA week created by This Is Teen, a teen division of Scholastic publishing.  The week started out by sharing book recommendations, then progressed into fun stuff like if movies were YA what would they be?  A few of my favorites: Where Things Come Back to the Future, How to Save a Bug's Life, Since You've Been Gone in Sixty Seconds.  Through out the week I've also been sharing bits of why I read YA.  I thought I'd create this blog post to express those thoughts a bit further than just 140 characters.

#IReadYA for multiple reasons: the escapism, the joys (and pains) of returning to my youth, and to expand my own experiences.  The list could go on.  In the last few years though, my purpose for reading YA has began to shift.  Instead of just reading a story for my own eyes, I started seeing it through the eyes of my potential students in my future classroom.  Not only do I want young minds to be exposed to reading, I want them to find meaning and connections through the texts their eyes discover.  Anyone can read a book (and if not, I hope they have the means to learn how), but what about the personal journey a story has the potential to bring the reader on?  #IReadYA so that I can build my library as an educator to offer a variety of books to a variety of students and guide them through the process of discovering those connections.

A book is a powerful tool.  I've learned this in my own life.  #IReadYA because it opens my eyes to different sides of a story that I may have not seen before.  #IReadYA, especially contemporary pieces, because it brings me back to a time of seemingly endless potential.  As adults we become jaded by the standards we are meant to live by, or the shortcomings that we never quite meet.  Seeing life through the eyes of a teen can be a bit refreshing, reminding us that it doesn't matter what age we figure it all out, just that the opportunity to choose a new path is always there.

#IReadYA not just this week, but every other week of the entire year.  The passion I have for this division of literature knows no bounds and continues to spill out into my personal life, as well as my professional one, too. 

#IReadYA because there's a part of me, a piece of you, and a bit of someone we all know in these books. Their stories matter.

So tell me, why do YOU read YA?  What are some of your YA recommendations?


  1. Love this topic! I'm a 35 yr old mom of three kids, who also loves YA. I like it for several reasons
    -the 'innocence' of teen romance is refreshing (I love my adult romance books too, but it's nice to mix it up)
    -there's a lot of amazing YA authors out there! Some of them have really blown me away with their writing :)
    -YA books tend to be a lot of fun!
    -and as a mom of a 9 year old daughter, I also want to keep tabs on what books she'll be experiencing down the road. I read Percy Jackson, and then she go the go ahead to read it etc. I'm not into censoring books, but I do want to make sure she's not going to get blindsided by topics that we haven't had a chance to discus first. And when we read the same books it also gives us something to talk about, which I love!

  2. Your reasons for reading YA are so neat. I love how you're using it to see through the eyes of your potential students and build a library of resources for them. I can already tell you're going to be an amazing teacher!

  3. What a gorgeous post, Ginger! I really enjoyed reading it. I love reading YA because, as you mentioned, it brings me back to my own teenage experiences, as well as opening my eyes to others. I love that you becoming a teacher is also becoming a part of the reason you read YA -- and I can tell your students will love you!

  4. Your hashtag response is perfection.

  5. I love this! I love seeing the reasons people read YA because you'd think it would all be the same, but it's definitely not. When I first started reading YA, I was just reading it because I enjoyed the stories. I found a lot of dystopians in YA that I didn't find in adult but that led to paranormal and that led to contemporary and before I knew it, I was able to relive parts of my past in ways I didn't even know was possible.
    Great post! I just loved reading it :)

  6. Love this post! You're so right--YA is great for escapism, but it's also great for introspective reasons as well. YA characters and their journeys are so relatable and, especially as a teen reader, it's such a relief to see bits of yourself in a character. It makes you feel less alone! And the fact that you want to help teens find those connections between themselves and books just goes to show that you'll be a great teacher! :)


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