Monday, April 23, 2012

The Kid Inside Me

Based on The Secret Garden
I was sitting outside in the amazingly cool weather yesterday (it's been really hot lately and a storm brought in a much appreciated cold front) as I read The Humming Room by Ellen Potter. I'm a little more than halfway through, so this is not a review or anything, although so far I'm enjoying it. Not nearly as much as her other book, The Kneebone Boy, which I highly recommend. I also recommend that if you read The Kneebone Boy you do not do so with a drink, as you will inevitably spew it across the pages--the book is freakin' hilarious.

Is this cover not awesome?
Anyway, this post isn't about The Kneebone Boy either. But, as I was reading yesterday, it dawned on me why I love MG and YA books so much.

I've never officially posted my reasoning on here, although I've commented on other people's blog here and there. Somehow, it's never completely gelled for me before. I've talked about how kids' books tend to be more creative, more imaginative. They are also cleaner--no reading past sex scenes to get to the story. And I've likely listed other little things as well that I can't remember right now.

But I think it boils down to this--I get to be a kid again. I get to look at the world through younger eyes and experience things with true wonder. I get to see and do things "for the first time." And every adventure in every book is a first time for something when you read in the juvenile/MG/YA/teen genres. Narrow it down to speculative (fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal) within that set and it's doubly new. Even the darkest of books are wondrous--battling evil and/or challenging the world with a passion only found in the young. No cynicism from years of experience--just going out there and doing it.

In short, reading younger books brings out the kid in me. I'm not sure I need any more justification than that.


Jeff Chapman said...

Great post, Kat. C. S. Lewis has a lot of biting comments on this topic, such as my favorite: "When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

It's so annoying to read a book aimed at adults and come across language and scenes that are so clearly superfluous, only there to give the story that R rating.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Ooh, Jeff, I love that Lewis quote!!!