YA superheroes Maureen Johnson and Libba Bray started tweeting the hashtag #YAsaves, which became the #3 trend in the world in about 30 minutes. Small wonder. Whether you grew up with YA books or not (I didn't, in fact), you probably grew up with a real life. I did.
|Zombies aren't the|
only living dead.
This book gives
hope and strength to
those living in the dark.
There was a general feeling of wrongness, but I couldn't understand what exactly was wrong. I drew inward socially. Was it my fault? I knew for sure "he" was guilty, but I couldn't help but feel like it was my fault too, for being too weak and stupid to do something about it, at the ripe old age of 4 or 5. And as far as I knew, you didn't talk about those things. So I didn't tell my parents. I felt like a sinner. I felt like dying. I was angry at God for not protecting me. So much for the all-powerful.
I read books. Lots of books. We couldn't always afford to buy them, so I borrowed whatever I could from the library, and kind neighbors: books about dragons, and murder, and other worlds. They didn't relate to my real life, but they did help to keep my mind off it. I stayed away from boys.
I read about a kid who lived in the subway, and one who lived in secrecy and fear. I read about sex. They were great books, but there was still something missing--something unrelatable. I could comprehend the literature, but they seemed so far removed. I could understand them; but try as I might, I couldn't understand me.
Maria V. Snyder's
rose out of the
gave me hope.
It wasn't until I read Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott that I felt something click into place inside me--an understanding that I was not alone, and that it's not about what happened to me--it's about what I did after. And what I didn't do. And what I will keep on doing.
That was in 2009. After 27 years of silence, I finally told my parents. And I finally felt free.
I like to think that contemporary YA fiction could have sped up the healing process a little. The truth is, we're ready when we're ready. There's no forcing it. But YA helps.
|Read author Laurie Halse|
Anderson's blog post on
"Darkness Too Visible"
YA literature helps young people connect the dots--draw conclusions between fiction and real life--reveals information and perspectives to help them navigate the dangerous outside world, and the even more treacherous terrain of their hearts and minds.
You can't tell me it's not worth reading or writing it, or that kids should somehow be sheltered from it, because YA saved me.
If it saved you, leave a link--I'd like to know how.
You can use this image to link back, if you like. (Image by Kudryashka, license purchased from Veer.) Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for letting me know about the article.
If you come across any author posts too, they can go in the Linky. You can grab the script below.