Traditionally, young adult lit involves themes like forging your identity and building self-acceptance. Recently, however, we have seen an obvious surge in themes of forsaking your family to become undead, is going to be personality to the point of unrecognizability, and feasting on the blood of humans to nourish a fetus that your husband may ultimately have to chomp from your womb. (No, we are really not thus, making this up). For those of us who miss the excellent ol’ days when reading teen lit made you’re feeling better about life (compared to trying to find long shower), it will be an asset to post a lot of the following classic reads.
Inspite of the countless ways that they Ray Bradbury can put us ill relaxed, his 1962 coming-of-age novel Something Wicked That way Comes actually carries a wholesome message at its core. Beneath every one of the carnies and funhouses, which is. The tale follows two thirteen-year-olds named Will and Jim, whose stop by to the traveling circus gets them linked to a wicked witch, a magic carousel, including a guy who’s got tattooed both their faces on his hands. (Clearly, this predates the cameraphone.)
A celebrity, Jim is fascinated by every item and fixture dangerous, creepy, or both, and desperately wishes to ride the carousel that will instantly turn him into grown-up la Tom Hanks constellation turtle night light in Big. Will, however, enjoys being thirteen and it has simply no prefer to pursue adulthood through unnatural means. (Clearly, this predates VH1.) Through Will’s father, the 2 be able to kill evil with a smile – literally – and laugh facing insecurity, even though that face is the own. Only Ray Bradbury can display as well while still managing to scare the crap out of you.
Published inside same year, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle with time can be a similarly offbeat novel that reads like something out from a David Bowie acid flashback. Our teen heroine is Meg Murray, a self-proclaimed, self-loathing freak whose face is horribly disfigured by – buy this – braces. (Okay, so standards were different in 1962.) Also noteworthy is she travels to your planet called Camazotz through the help of four exploded stars along with a time/space-folding procedure called a tesserract. Yeah, most of us have been through it.
Through her travels, Meg learns permit go of everyone’s helping hands (literally – she was practically glued towards the things), see her “faults” as items that could “come in very handy,” and ultimately fly solo in order to resolve her own problems. The tale climaxes with Meg defeating an enormous, pulsating brain throughout the power of love. If it ain’t symbolism… well, we’re actually form of hoping the entire thing is symbolism.
Sixteen years later, Ellen Raskin published The Westing Game, challenging the then-prevalent concept over 16 couldn’t follow stories with ridiculously complicated plots. (Clearly, publishers were not familiar with Tolkien.) Its heroine is Tabitha-Ruth Alice “Turtle” Wexler, a thirteen-year-old who’s kept in her pretty sister’s shadow but nevertheless gets major kudos to be nicknamed after the lumpy reptile. Turtle and her family take part in an elaborate inheritance puzzle that sets an entire apartment complex’s valuation on people against the other for $200 million in loot.
Amidst the endless characters, unexpected bombings, anonymous tips, and false leads, Turtle demonstrates business savvy, goodheartedness, and independent thinking; she invests her “incentive” funds to profit independently with the riddle, efforts to fall to the sword for her mad bomber of a sister, and solves the puzzle although game ends and the prize is withdrawn. By befriending and impressing the benefactor, Turtle then proceeds to prove you don’t end up being a good looking young thang for getting your mitts when using old man’s multi-million dollar inheritance.
Becoming an adult is challenging enough as it’s without television and magazines telling kids to hurry up and get into adult things. Admittedly, literature is just as likely to market trends as other things, but until books start selling ad space between chapters, we’d like to think about them for a refuge for that mind. Of course, if novels about black-magic carnivals, interplanetary time warps, and pyrotechnic treasure hunts can somehow present well-balanced young adult characters, any story that will not is certainly not trying tough enough.