I haven’t been able to participate much with posts during the week, except to comment (thanks a lot, work), but I am totally all over these Saturday topics! :D
Keeping it Real
- How do you not only grow an audience, but how do you keep them coming back for more? If you have been around for years, how do you keep your material fresh? How do you continue to keep blogging fun?
I am a very new blogger (as of March 8, 2013!), so I’m really curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on this question. Still being new to the blogging thing, its shininess hasn’t worn off for me yet – it’s still super fun! But as I mentioned above, I also work full-time, so it can be really hard to find time for reading, writing reviews, and visiting all the blogs I follow! How do you juggle it all and keep everything fun an exciting?? I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s answers for this topic.
Children’s & Young Adult Literature
- Our final genre focuses on the younger crowd: children’s picture books and young adult literature and everything in between. What are the top 5 (or more) books that every child should have on his shelf? If you are an adult who reads YA, why do you keep going back for more? If you are not a reader of these books, think back to your childhood and share your favorites from your younger years.
I’m definitely a huge fan of YA lit, but before I get into that, here are my top 5 children’s books (well, maybe middle-grade… maybe… oh I don’t know, they’re younger than the average YA, lol). If I ever have kids, and if I do my job correctly, these books will be favorites of theirs. ;)
Moving on – I love YA lit. I’m 25, so I’m certainly a bit older than the intended audience, but that doesn’t stop me. ;) I always have a really hard time explaining why I love YA books, and why I read them pretty much to the exclusion of any other “age-range”… But I’ll try to articulate a few of those reasons. *deep breath* Here goes.
Firstly, I love the feeling of “endless possibilities” that permeates much of the YA genre – there’s always this feel of “the world is huge, there’s so much out there worth exploring and experiencing”. Even the more intense books have a sense of hope that I think relates to this feeling as well.
I also really like that a lot of time in YA is devoted to either a) characters who learn to appreciate who they are instead of trying to fit in, or b) characters who take pride in being themselves to begin with. I’m not a young adult, but I still struggle with this, and it’s encouraging to read about characters who do too (even if they are fictional).
I also love that these characters are at a time in their lives when they go through periods of huge emotional growth and change, and they come out the other side of it stronger. Being young, they’re sort of the underdogs, but they have to rise up and meet the challenges they’re presented, with little or no past experience. Those sorts of stories are really inspiring for me.
Finally – YA is allowed to be silly! Maybe silly isn’t the right word, but just… light. And happy. One of my favorite books this year is The Art of Wishing (below), and it’s so adorable and sweet and had me smiling ridiculously the entire time I was reading it (and often when I wasn’t reading it). It’s ok to love those adorable, sweet, fluffy stories! And I feel like you don’t get those in “older” genres, at least from what I’ve experienced.
All that being said, here are some of my recent-favorite YA books that I’ve found especially awesome: