Topic choices like this one just make my heart go zing!
Today, the writing prompt is Books I want Youth to discover. So…do you have a couple of hours? Hee hee. Just kidding…not.
I pared my choices down because I really could talk about this subject for a while. The word YOUTH can, to me, mean any age range, so I’m going to cover a few here to be inclusive. The choices I’m laying out are all older books, from the last century even, and not what I would consider popular these days with kids. Which is a shame, because each of these books speaks to universal themes inherent in all children (and adults!). They are all written in language easy to read and understand, and each of these choices is in itself a part of my own youth and growth experience.
In no order, I wish kids (youth) would read these wonderful tales:
So, of course, I start with the book I think should be in every child’s home and read to them by their parents or even by themeselves, over and over until the message is ingrained in their DNA.
Originally published in, I believe, 1941, this is the best story I’ve ever seen about self motivation, and believing in yourself. The confidence that little engine had in himself is the kind of confidence I wish every single child possessed. I’m 58 years old and I still think of this book and its message when my confidence starts to fail.
In fact, the entire Lucy Maude Montgomery collection about Anne Shirley. There are many themes explored in these books, but the ones I feel are still topical today are adoption, the plight of homeless and parentless children, acceptance in society when you are different, and the beauty of each person being unique.
Maybe it’s because my real name is so similar to the title character. Maybe it’s because the story of 12 year old Margaret is one that mirrored my own life. Maybe it’s because Margaret’s feelings of not fitting in – and of wanting to, desperately – and wanting to be liked were exactly the same emotions and feelings I had at the age of 12. Heck, maybe it’s because she feels the only one who get’s her, who really listens to her is God, just like I did, and still do. Whatever the reason, this book is filled with the universal theme that we all want to loved and appreciated. Plus, there aren’t many books about kids and spirituality that lay out God’s love so simply and beautifully.
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, just like Francie Nolan. My heritage is Irish, just like Francie’s. I knew firsthand the effects of alcoholism in my family, as does Francie. Is it any one wonder I love this book and wish more kids these days were exposed to it? Yes, it takes place in the last century during a time unlike any other we’ve seen in this country. But again, I go for the universal themes and connectability rampant in the book. This was the book that solidified for me that even if you were poor, considered white trash, and shunned by society, you could still find happiness in every day things, and feel love for those closest to you. Education was the ticket out of poverty and strife, and Francie loved to read – just like I did ( and still do!) Reading for was escape, adventure, knowledge, and beauty. Betty Smith’s words are as timely now as they were when the book was released in 1943.
“From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.”
Love that message!!!
So, those are just 4 books I wish more kids read these days. Let’s see what the other authors in this blog challenge have to say. L&SR
And if you’re looking for me, I can always be found here: