Reading Response #1

Wow, how do I manage to spend so much time on the computer and yet still be so technologically incompetent? A mystery for the ages, or at least 3 am thoughts… Meaning, I’ll try to make this blog pretty later.

So, responding to Karen Coats’ Growing Up, In Theory.

For one thing, I like the name. Both in that she is describing the theory of young adults and the process of growing up, and that it isn’t a definite. They say that growing old is mandatory, but growing up is not. I for one fully intend to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood I figure that I’ll try to be done with my first childhood when I’m seventy or so, just in time to start my second childhood. People can have very odd ideas about what it means to be a grown-up I’d still like to know why Dad’s model cars are more respectable and a more worthwhile past-time than my action figures. At least, they are according to him.

Coats writes about the problems defining exactly what is YA literature, as opposed to children’s or adult’s literature, and the fact that marketers have begun to cross-promote items with things like different covers. She points out Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as recent examples of this phenomena [322]. I tend to agree with her, especially as I have read both series within the last year, as well as when I was younger. I read Dickens, Melville and Stevenson when I was ten years old- I read Wrede, Duane and Friesner now as a twenty-cough-something, and I am not-so-patiently waiting for the latest Tamora Pierce (due next month! I know where I’ll be that day). I own everything Tamora Pierce has written, many in hardcover, and I’ve driven three hours to stand in line for two more to get her to sign a book. She writes about teenage girls fighting to find their places in magic lands- to be a warrior, a spy, a protector, a lover, a friend, a healer, an artist, a mage, a student. To be who they are, instead of who they are supposed to be. You’d think after reading the books for twenty years I’d get tired of them. But I’ve always found that the mark of a  great book is that I can still find new things to think about every time I reread it. As I get older, my perspective changes, and I notice things that I never saw before. If I read a book at only one point in my life, then I only get one point of view on it, and that seems like an awful waste. After all, if the point of education is to try and understand the world and not just memorize dates and facts, then shouldn’t I keep trying until I understand? Then again, Methos said that he was just a guy.

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