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Tag: Ann Brashares

YA Literary Trope: The Repressed Protagonist

Welcome back readers, to another exploration of literary tropes in Young Adult fiction.  We have covered a lot of ground in our examination of common recurring themes including; The Old Clunker I Drive, The I Already Know you Introduction, The I Have to Take Care of my Parent(s), The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (and Boy), the A-Hole Friends, and the Awesome Outfit.  Now let’s have some fun with some repressed protagonists.  Here are some main characters that do not know how to have fun, are too afraid to try anything new, or need to come out of their shells.

YA Literary Tropes: The Repressed Protagonists | YALSA's The Hub

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2002 Best Books forYoung Adults, 2002 Top Ten Books for Young Adults, 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Teen’s Top Ten: 2003 & 2005) by Ann Brashares: Lena.  Brashares does a suburb job of fully developing all four of the girls who wear the magic pants.  No girl is an afterthought, no girl is a clone, and no girl is without her issues.  Lena’s deal is that she is repressed.  All of her friends describe Lena as beautiful but withdrawn.  Lena’s reluctance to go anywhere new is first challenged when she is forced to spend the summer in Greece with her grandparents.  One repressed protagonist plus a cute Greek guy plus a pair of magic jeans equals… lots of personal growth for Lena!

“Grown-Up” Books (For the Kid in You)

Girl_Reading

When did you start to love reading? Can you remember the first book that did it for you?

Why, yes I do remember–so glad you asked! I was in third grade at my local public library with my friend Margaret (a bookworm and savvy reader a few years older than me). She thrust Lois Lowry’s Anastasia, Again at me so I shrugged and checked it out. I spent the rest of that afternoon on my front porch for hours happily lost in the book. I was a reader. And I haven’t looked back since.

Over the years, I have found that the phase of life in which you read a book affects your outlook on it. Have you ever re-read a beloved book only to find you now despise it? Have you discovered that you still love that same book but notice a lot of different stuff now? If you’ve grown up reading chances are you have many fond memories of the greats you read as a kid. In this line of thinking my colleague Meaghan Darling and I put together some recommendations of titles to try now based on what you liked when you were younger.

Witches_HUB

 

 

* The Witches by Roald Dahl –Beautiful Creatures (2010 Morris Finalist) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Some witches are good, some are bad—but all are powerful!

 

The Hub Celebrates Thesaurus Day

Portrait from Medical Portrait Gallery by Thomas Pettigrew
Portrait from Medical Portrait Gallery by Thomas Pettigrew

Happy Thesaurus Day!

While not necessarily a well-known holiday, Thesaurus Day is celebrated on January 18, the birthday of Peter Mark Roget, creator of Roget’s Thesaurus.

The original version of Roget’s thesaurus, created in 1805 and released in 1852, contained 15,000 words. Over the years, the thesaurus has grown, adding thousands of additional words and synonyms. These days, in addition to print versions of the thesaurus, wordsmiths are able to access the Roget’s thesaurus online through Thesaurus.com. If you are interested in a historical perspective, a 1911 version has been cataloged as part of the ARTFL Project through the University of Chicago.

We’re celebrating a day early here on The Hub by using the thesaurus to swap words in some popular YA titles. See if you can figure out the original titles and then scroll down to check!

  1. The Tome Bandit
  2. The Bonus of Being a Loner
  3. Papyrus Municipalities
  4. An Excellent and Dreadful Virtue
  5. The Insanity Below
  6. Swivel Spot
  7. The Examining
  8. Faithful
  9. Break Me
  10. The Choice
  11. Vocalize
  12. A Chain of Ill-fated Happenings.
  13. Gorgeous Critters
  14. Audrey, Halt!
  15. The Commander of the Loops
  16. Thirteen Rationales of Cause
  17. The Categorically Bona Fide Journal of a Part-Time Native American
  18. The Sorority of the Roving Trousers
  19. Always…
  20. 13 Slight Azure Pockets
  21. The Starvation Sports
  22. The Accuracy Referring to Always
  23. The Labyrinth Sprinter
  24. Granted That I Stick Around
  25. Paired

Beyond Young Adult Literature

There has been a lot of buzz in the world of young adult literature about a possible new category: new adult fiction. This is designed to “bridge a gap” between young adult fiction and adult fiction and is often characterized as featuring college-aged protagonists. Some say it’s a niche thing that will never really gain enough traction to make it a big deal. Some call it a marketing ploy. Others, especially readers on the Internet and those who note the percentage of adults who read young adult fiction, think it’s a category with a lot of potential.

adult cereals by flickr user yadniloc
adult cereals by flickr user yadniloc

Whether or not new adult literature becomes a widely accepted category (the way young adult fiction has) is not the point of this post, however. Instead, I want to share books written for the adult market by popular young adult authors and books that are shelved in the adult literature section but that are about teenage protagonists and would appeal to fans of YA.

Like Peas and Carrots: Girls’ Friendships in YA Lit

The month of September celebrates women’s friendships, which lead me to think about friendships within books and some of my favorite books dealing with friendships. There are times when I feel so closely connected to a character that I wish they were real so we could be best friends. When I was in middle school, I adored Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume. I read that book until it fell apart — and then kept reading it. I loved the new friendship between Stephanie and Alison. I really believe in the idea of having more than one BFF.

Teen literature is full of strong female friendships. Sure, there are books about frenemies, or fake friends, or even the BFF who betrays you. The ones that stand out the strongest in my mind are the books about true best friends: best friends who wouldn’t date the boy you might like, best friends who stand behind your decisions even if they don’t agree with them, and best friends you know you can count on even if you just had a massive fight.

Some of these books don’t start out with the main characters as best friends. Instead, something throws the girls together. Going through the situation creates and cements the bond of friendship.