Some people are natural born readers…it seems as if they passed through the birth canal with a book nestled in their hands.
Many of my mornings are spent in an early education center where I can quickly identify the young preschool students who prefer to dedicate precious recess minutes to “reading” a book under a tree instead of playing hide-and-seek in the school garden. When they are a bit older, those same children may refuse to come out of their rooms for dinner as a result of being engulfed in a story. And often those children grow into teens and adults who maintain a love for the written word.
I was that child and that teen. I am that adult.
I wondered if my two daughters would inherit my book enthusiasm and, I confess, I tried to nudge their attraction to reading along from the very beginning. Yes, I read to my daughters in utero:)
My eldest daughter Emma who is now 13, had displayed mild interest, a euphemism at best, to books for the first decade of her life. There have been a few exceptions throughout her childhood. She adored silly books like Elephant Wellyphant by Nick Sharratt (a fabulous British author and illustrator), and most Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books such as The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. When she began to read chapter books on her own, she’d choose graphic novels…but only if she had to.
Over the past year, to my great delight and surprise, Emma has discovered that she likes to read…hallelujah! She’s devouring what she loves…myths and legends from around the world, titles like The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta and The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes. Perhaps we are all natural born readers, yet some of us take longer to distinguish what genre of literature truly captivates us.
Emma’s enthusiasm for juvenile literature has encouraged me to reconnect with my own love for teen novels…I’ve always appreciated good coming-of-age stories. Over the past month, I’ve read 4 young adult/juvenile novels written by diverse authors that I would recommend for teen audiences. Throughout the month of January I will explore the titles below on Sail Away Story and share why I cherish them:
- I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika L. Sánchez
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
- The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani
- Kira Kira, Cynthia Kadohata