Why do I love tweens and teens? Quite simply, they are the emotional truth-tellers of the world. Take that legendary adolescent Holden Caulfield. Like Holden, tweens and teens have highly evolved radar that can smell fake a mile away. They have a no-tolerance policy for the balderdash of the world and those who spew it. And as a young fortiesh woman weighed down with the mundanity of young fortiesh things: bills, groceries, and apps coming out of my eyeballs, I appreciate that.
But I don’t just like writing for tweens and teens; I like analyzing literature with them. So much so, I do it for a living. They are astute observers of the human condition and quite truthfully, some graduate courses haven’t held a candle to the literary insightfulness of the students I’m privileged to teach. Their keen eye for symbolism, character development, and thematic analysis would force a half-simper on Harold Bloom’s grinless lips.
Now some cynics and anti-Holdenites may brush off my gushing adoration for this niche group as simply a consequence of the YA Renaissance. (If you weren’t aware, the YA Renaissance is currently in full swing! Just go to your local bookstore and observe the crossover as soccer moms, and dads, get their fix of Twilight, Harry Potter, and even weigh in on Edward v. Jacob).
Then my superego tells me to take a look in the mirror and check myself. Why do I really love writing about angst, zits, romance, popularity, and love. Is it that I need closure, validation, and/or have a fear of growing old? Have I not gotten over the fact that more popular Jennie Kanter didn’t invite me to her slumber party in the ninth grade? Hmmmm – that’s something to think about.
And that’s when my id answers back in a half-hearted mumble – Whatev!