Over the past year, a slightly funny phenomena has emerged in the world of books. It either begins with an emphatic “Have you read this??!!” or it slips into quiet conversation with obvious embarrassment (“Uh, I know it’s a kids book, but….”). Yes, I’m talking about the best-seller THE HUNGER GAMES and its effect on people of all ages.
Several years ago, we saw this trend with the Harry Potter series, but there was a slightly different thing going on there. Parents didn’t feel embarrassed about reading it because they were often telling the story to their children before bed. It was okay to read it that way. The Hunger Games is different. Since the YA book is aimed at ages 10+, parents are often no longer involved in the bedtime reading of their kids at that point. So, how are they supposed to know what the big deal is about this book? Why are kids everywhere talking about this book like it has changed their world? How can they get their hands on a copy without everyone knowing they’re reading a kid’s book?
Simple. They come to the library and ask for it.
The beauty of this story is that it has become a multi-generational book (as have the others in the same series by author Suzanne Collins). We have really young ones reading it, teens, their parents, grandparents and so on. One of our favourite young patrons told me today that she has her aunt reading it and both of her grandparents as well. What she’s looking forward to most is the day each of them finishes it so that they can all get together to discuss it. I thought that was fantastic!
Everyone wants to see what it’s about….non-readers, people who never read in the genre and everyone in between. And that’s perfectly fine. There’s no need to explain why you’re reading a book that wasn’t intentionally written for adults. There’s no need to hurry out of the YA section with a few other great looking books tucked under your arm. And there’s no need to send your neighbour’s kid in to get it for you.
There’s a reason so many people are turning to young adult books–the writing is strong and the stories are fabulous. No, they’re not all about high school dating and prom dresses. A lot of them may include this sort of thing, but they’re usually written around a fantastic, fast moving plot that pulls you right in and gets to the heart of the story. Don’t forget, these kids have grown up in the NOW generation. If it isn’t something they like within a few moments, they’ll put it down. And that probably means you’ll like it, too.
Why not pick up a YA book today? Don’t be embarrassed….they’re great books for ALL ages!