Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting Younger as I Get Older

I wise old friend of mine always used to say, "what's the point of growing old if you can't act like a kid?" Sometimes for a change of pace I enjoy reading a book aimed at young adults. It seems the best ones are a fast-paced interesting read that still address some serious life issues. But they don't bury the issues under a lot of literary devices like is often in adult literary fiction. I end up with the satisfaction of a serious book club book in a fast paced thriller that I can read in a day or two. All the grown-ups who enjoyed Harry Potter know what I mean.

One such book that I recently read was the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is the first book in a series (the third book Mockingjay just came out earlier this year). Like Harry Potter, this has been an incredibly popular book, so much so that the library actually owns more than 20 copies.

Some other young adult books that I have read as an adult and enjoyed are:
Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

We keep many of these books in the High School section on the third floor of the library. It is a good place to simply browse for a quality read even if you are a grown up. Are there some kids books you have liked reading as an adult?


Linda K. said...

I am also a big fan of YA books and kids books and picture books. (I have found many beautiful picture books at the Friend's book sales.)As David mentioned, YA books are usually easier to read and you can squeeze in a few when you might not have the time, or the stamina, for the latest Ken Follett saga. David was the one who recommended Gary Paulsen's "Hatchet" to me one evening when we were working the Readers' Services desk. I loved it and have recommended it to many people along with the winter alternative version that tells what might have happened if the character had to spend a winter alone with only his hatchet to survive. I also love the "Hunger Games" series and have read and listened to all of the Harry Potter series more than once. Carl Hiaasen's YA books - "Hoot" "Flush" - are also extremely entertaining and environmentally responsible. I bought copies of Hiaasen's books to add to the library's paperback collection. Why should kids have all the fun? They make me laugh! My only complaint - where were all these great books when I was growing up?! (Although "Island of the Blue Dolphins" is still one of my favorites and I love the Beezus and Ramona series by Beverly Cleary and I first read them when I was in grade school.)

Anonymous said...

A patron asked for "Hunger Games" while I was on the desk yesterday and all 20-some copies were checked out - wow! I should add that he was an adult patron, at least in his 30s or 40s. I know tons of adults who read the "Twilight" series, too - not my style but clearly I am in the minority.

Fiona Dinwiddie said...

I like anything Walter by Dean Myers and I also highly recommend some graphic novels. American Born Chinese by Gene Yuen, for example, is about a first generation Chinese American teen, but the issues raised are universal and ageless. It would actually make a great (and somewhat eccentric) pick for an adult book club.

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