Sort of Like Magic


October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Morgan Delaney from California.


The mind has to be the most perplexing and magical thing about the human body.


Because no matter how hard you attempt to explain the crazy, beautiful pictures you paint within the realm of your thoughts, no one will ever be able to see them. No one, but you. No one can see the detail, the exact colors, the movements, the sounds, and the vivid and animated life of your thoughts because no one has your exact imagination. It is crazy and strange, but amazing. Because it is entirely and completely your own.

It is even crazier how reading can expand your own thoughts, your imagination, to places you didn’t even know you could create. Beautiful and colorful places that only you get the privilege to see.

It’s sort of like magic.

And it is so unfortunate that so many teenagers are depriving themselves of the beauty of books. I didn’t realize what huge of an epidemic it was that teenagers didn’t read until I went out and asked teenagers the simple question: Do you like to read?

I received answers from, “No, it isn’t entertaining,” to, “No, it isn’t very detailed.”

I was baffled and incredibly disappointed that kids were judging books based on what they assumed reading was like.

It was sad, and truthfully, there was only one thing that stopped me from losing complete hope in proving to the world how wonderful reading actually is.

That was the small group of teenagers that told me they loved to read.

When they responded, “Yes,” to my question, I pushed further, and asked them why. Why did they love to read when so many kids didn’t?

And each answer to that question was like another piece to the puzzle. I began to see the pattern.

And it was strange, because every answer to that question was relatively similar to what my answer would be.

I realized that teenagers that love to read, love to read because books allow them to understand that even though we are all so different, we all go through so many of the same things.

That people constantly fight the same battles I do.

That I am not alone.

Books like The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, or Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, or Impulse, by Ellen Hopkins, or Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

Books like these helped me develop my love for reading because they grasp the raw truth of being a teenager. They don’t create the ideal teenage life full of parties and great relationships and a perfect balance between drama and happiness.

These books uncover the truth that life is full of wrong turns that eventually lead you the right way.

That life can be really hard. Scarily and frighteningly hard, but you can survive.

Books like these that make you realize that this is just the beginning of a crazy but so incredibly beautiful life.

The most amazing things about these books is that the world they help you create is entirely your own. You decide what it looks like.

Because there are no limits to what you can create in your mind.

A movie shows you what to feel, shows you what to see, shows you what it is.

But with a book, you feel whatever you want to feel, you see whatever you want to see, you can make it whatever you feel it should be.

Because when you read, it’s your story.


It’s sort of like magic.

~ Morgan Delaney is a writer, music maker, and a lover of science and politics. I believe that books are the key to the lock of everlasting knowledge, so read on!

7 thoughts on “Sort of Like Magic”

  1. Morgan–what a beautiful and insightful post on how magical reading is! Yes, it is unfortunate on how many teens perceive reading to be boring or that it’s not entertaining. I suppose it’s because we live in an era where people try to compress the maximum amount of info in 147 characters or less tweets! What gives me hope are blogs like The Hub that underlines the passion for reading that teens like you obviously tout! I also love how you describe reading as being magical and therapeutic at the same time for readers going through hard times. I remember reading “Woman Warrior” by Maxine Hong Kingston in college, and it gave me the strength to overcome a daunting challenge. Great job Morgan!

  2. Amazing post— I loved all the books you mentioned and I really think that they are valuable for how they convey teenage life and how relatable they are. I think that if we can get the group of teenagers who don’t like to read to read some books like those, they might be able to both get all the benefits of reading and understand why some people love to read so much. Your post was really interesting and in-depth; you did a really good job!

  3. This is such a well written post. I personally do not read that much and this makes me want to read. I might start reading again now and maybe I will read one of the books you recommended!:)

  4. I’m a “Yes” person too- I love to read whenever possible! Sadly, juniors don’t have time to read that much, do they? :( But after reading this post, I think I’m going to try to read a little more. (P.S. Congratulations on a very well-written post! You sound like a professional blogger!) (P.P.S Do they even have professional bloggers? They must, right?)

  5. This post is perfect. Thanks for spreading awareness of those of us whose nose is barely seen outside of a book :)

  6. Short and sweet and to the point. I love this and I hope people who think they don’t like to read can revisit books because of this post!

  7. I love the way you wrote this! I would answer “Yes”, and I definitely agree that books transport us and help exercise our imagination :) Great thoughts!

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