No, this isn’t a book review of the bestselling novel The Book Thief by German-Aussie writer Markus Zusak. This is just a brief blog entry about my little take towards young adult fiction in general. I only posted the cover of this book simply because it’s the current novel that I’m reading as the start of 2014.1 In addition to that, this particular book was marketed in the U.S. as young adult (YA) fiction. No wonder I couldn’t find it in the Fiction category at the local bookstore when I first purchased it.2
Anyway, I was prompted to write this entry because I was a little iffy about one or a few reviewers at Goodreads regarding their reviews towards The Book Thief. It wasn’t their reviews towards the book that made me iffy. It was their generalization towards YA fiction in general, where they already had their assumption that just because it’s a YA that the book must not be worth reading. In other words, “the book must be as bad as Twilight.”3
It somewhat ticked me that this is how these people view YA fiction as. It makes me wonder what kind of books they read when they were growing up as kids. Remember those YA fiction classics and serials like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Babysitters Club, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Chronicles of Narnia series, and what not? Did they even have a chance to read true classics like the ones written by Madeline L’Engle, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Katherine Paterson, and the like? What about the latest ones, say… the Harry Potter series, His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, etc.), and the latest phenomenon, The Hunger Games trilogy? Oh, how can we even forget those lovable Nursery Rhymes and the classic fairy tales like the ones written by the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen as we grow up?
Those books and stories I just mentioned, dear friends, is what YA fiction is. Even though the stories seem to aim towards young readers, adults can certainly enjoy them as much as kids do. Even my few attempts in writing my own original fiction are aimed towards young readers. I think for me, it’s somewhat easy to write YA fiction since we can use our past youths as our source of inspiration. In addition, we can even learn from our own children4 as well. I guess in short, how can these shallow readers look down on YA fiction when a lot of YA-aimed stories are all based in real life events, so to speak?
Anyway, The Book Thief is my latest literary drug as of this moment. I only bought the book last weekend and I’m already about 25% of its 500-ish pages of its glory!
- and truthfully, loving it so far! [↩]
- Half Price Books – Seriously we still need our good ol’ bookstores in our communities. I still love reading from a book in my hands as much as I read eBooks in my Kindle phone app… [↩]
- A little side note about me abhorring Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. I’m sorry, but I’m a traditionalist folklore fan, meaning that I believe in vampires seeing humans as food for survival and vampires die when they face the light of the sun, not “sparkle”… well, you get the picture. [↩]
- that is, if you are a parent or simply an adult with a lot of children in the immediate family such as myself [↩]