Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Cross-Underer: An Equal Opportunity Reader

It all started back in fifth grade when I brought a Danielle Steel book to class. Having perused nearly all the age-appropriate books in my classroom's Reading Corner, I brought in my older sister's pretty copy of Steel's Palomino for silent reading time.

The result: I almost had to dial 911, so severe was my teacher's apoplectic fit.

Suffice it to say, I didn't bring any more "adult" books to class after that--but it didn't mean I stopped reading beyond my grade level. By seventh grade, I'd read classics by Fitzgerald and Hawthorne, as well as "chick lit" by Cabot and Kinsella. The chick lit was my sister's influence; the classics entirely my own pet project. I thought of myself as an equal opportunity reader, able to devour Harry Potter with my peers yet mull over the intricacies of race relations in Mitchell's Gone with the Wind  at the same time.

Now, a decade later, my reading habits have carried over into adulthood. I'm still an avid fan of YA books, regardless of the fact that high school is far behind me (thank goodness) and I can legally order drinks at a bar. For me, a good story is a good story, no matter what age the characters are. I mean, hello, what makes a better story than teen angst, awkward insecurity, and crippling uncertainty of the future? And when you throw in a couple of vampires/chimaeras/mermaids in there, and/or plop the characters in some grim post-apocalyptic setting, I think it just makes the story THAT much better.

What about you? Are you a fan of YA, forever lurking in the Teen section of Barnes and Noble? Or are you a staunch believer in age-appropriate literature?

Peter Pan-ly yours,

Wonder where I got the term "cross-under"? Check out this article to determine what kind of book reader YOU are.