Armchair BEA: Middle Grade and Young Adult

Image by Amber of

Image by Amber of

“If you’re a book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and/or the BEA Blogger Convention in New York this May, you don’t have to miss all the fun – this virtual convention is the place to be! Watch this space for all the news about daily blogging themes, discussions, giveaways and more! 
Armchair BEA is scheduled for May 26-31, 2014.”

 Quote and Image taken from Armchair Bea HQ
I think I will always love middle grade and young adult fiction. I still feel kind of embarrassed about requesting MG or YA books from the library, but not enough to stop me doing it. I am getting over it (the embarrassment, that is, not the fiction!), but it’s still somewhat uncomfortable.
MG will always have a special place in my heart. It’s not called MG here, it’s just lumped under children’s fiction. It’s special to me because nothing ever truly awful happens in most MG. It’s good for a “safe” read. Most YA is full of hard things and the “feels”. That’s not to say that MG doesn’t have feels, or danger, or heartbreaking moments – it does. It just feels safer to me. It is meant for younger readers, after all.
I also love how MG stories are full of magic and adventure. It has a really magical feel – it has to, to appeal to children. Authors pay much more attention to the magic of a tale and the richness of the world it’s set in. MG is full of magic, and I’m not just talking about the fantasy books. Children look for magic in their stories and that magic is why I love MG. When I have children, I want to love the books they love as much as they do. So… I am not going to be ashamed about asking for MG any more!
I’m more comfortable asking for YA because I know lots of adults read it quite openly. The book blogging community has given me a lot of confidence on that (thanks guys!).
I don’t even know what it is about YA, I just like it more than adult fiction.
I think teens are particularly hard to please and entertain, I think they spot  things adults don’t, and they’re a lot harder to fool. If there’s a hole in your plot, you can guarantee a sharp-eyed teen will be on to it, and children are worse, because they’re forever asking the question – why?
I would also like to add that the books we read as children shape our reading for the rest of our lives. If you read great books as a child, you’re going to learn to love reading. If you read awful books as a child, you’re going to learn to hate reading. Children’s books are gold.
I’m aware that I’ve used the word magic an awful lot in this post. But that’s what reading is, particularly in childhood. It’s magical.
What are your favourite MG/YA books/authors? Do you have problems in libraries or bookshops (if you’re an adult), asking for MG/YA? What books/authors made you love reading? Did books help make your childhood special – which books? How do you feel about those books now? Which books would you, or do you, give to your children? Is there a book/author from your childhood that I have to read? Tell me why!

9 thoughts on “Armchair BEA: Middle Grade and Young Adult

  1. I feel you on the embarrassment of asking for children’s books at the library. I’m over it, but my poor husband picks up my books often and when they’re childrens and also smutty romance he is not happy with me!

    I’ve been collecting all the HP books in hardcover since my daughter was born to share with her. My favorite that I’m looking forward to reading with her is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And the BFG!

    • Roald Dahl! I have all of his stuff, even The Minpins. The BFG was always my favourite growing up. 🙂 And of course, Harry Potter. If/when I have kids they will be growing up on Potterness 🙂 I have a Folio Society edition of Peter Pan that I’m saving for my future kids. It’s got illustrated plates with tissue coverings, like old-fashioned books. I love it!

  2. I do prefer reading Child lit like ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ because although there are bad things, there is so much love in it! And of course the magic! Give me all the magic! Although I’m only 20 I feel like walking around with MG lit would look weird, but then I remember that people who think it’s weird probably haven’t enjoyed the beauty of a good MG book, in which case I just pity them! So don’t feel uncomfortable with it! Thanks for your post 🙂
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    • Good point! If people read MG more, they’d fall in love with it very quickly. I haven’t read Howl’s Moving Castle yet. Some of my favourite MGs are Artemis Fowl, The Forbidden Library, Chrestomanci books etc.

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