Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Think Maybe I'm Writing Again

I'll be blunt: I have a lot of issues with the online courses I'm taking. I complain about them a lot. I am working on being more positive about it, but I run into challenges pretty frequently.

On the plus side, I'm taking a course in YA Lit which is good and a little annoying. Good because I care a lot about the topic. Annoying because I have my MA in Children's Lit and I just want to enjoy summer vacation!! (Children's Lit includes YA Lit).

Here's proof:

So anyway, I have to take this class and I have to read two books a week. I planned ahead, thankfully, and have much of the reading done already. I have to write about them, though! So I'm going to write again. I'll take what I've done for class and share it here because that's what this blog is for. (Books and baking. Baking and books).

Here goes:

One of my classmates brought up the topic of resiliency and it really resonated with me. Here's some of what I've got to say about resiliency: Resiliency is one of my favorite characteristics of a protagonist and I think maybe that's why I love YA lit so much. It is generally quite a bit more hopeful than adult literature, and I think the characters tend to be more resilient, more likely to shift, change and grow over the course of the story. Of course, this is a very broad generalization, but I think there is a lot of truth to it. 

I recently finished reading, (actually listening to), Ishmael Beah's memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and was overwhelmed by the amount of resiliency he cultivated at such a young age. If you're not familiar with his story, check out this brief video: Why I Wrote My Book. In perhaps one of the most moving passages of the book, he notes, "I believe children have the resilience to outlive their suffering if given the chance."

Resilience is an important part of this memoir. Ishmael's story is an incredibly inspiring one that leaves the reader full of hope and eager to create positive changes. His writing truly allows the reader to vicariously live these struggles with him; there were times I had to stop listening for a while just to give myself a break from the heartache. My stomach physically hurt at times. Those moments are part of what helped me to fully appreciate how drastically and positively his life has changed and I feel changed having read his memoir.

I'll just add one more thing: this was only the second time I listened to an audiobook narrated by the author. It was incredibly powerful to hear the story not only from his own words, but from his own lips. I can't encourage you enough: listen to this book. 

Happy reading, happy snacking, happy summer!

Perfect boy. 

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