I just read online for the thousandth time that Young Adult literature is important because “it’s important for teens to have something of their own.” And for the first time in five years, I actually thought about that statement.
"It’s important for teens to have something of their own."
I just found out that one of my favorite authors has a tumblr! And also draws!
While I’m super excited about all of that, I also want to say that I really appreciate this post (and would not matter who wrote it). As a teenager I didn’t really make a distinction between young adult books and adult books (or children’s books, honestly…I usually had to hit at least 2 out of 3 of those sections whenever I went to the library) but often found myself precluded from “serious, adult” things in the real world. And as an adult, I still delve heavily into the books with “children” and “teen” on the labels. Possibly because they always have better covers than adult books. Or just because they’re excellent, and it is possible to enjoy and learn things from a book no matter what age group it is intended to reach.
(A friend of mine recently invited me to join her writing critique group. In addition to reading chapters of what people are working on, we take 20 minutes to write flash fiction based on a prompt and then read what we came up with out loud. Tonight was my first time there, and the prompt was “penny on the sidewalk”. I liked the result so I figured I might as well post it.)
I compiled some personal tactics and crowd sourced DIY remedies for the sads (clinical term) into a mini comic! Enjoy xoxo
Harry Crewe and Aerin-sol. Watercolor and colored pencil, 2013.
A few months ago I got inspired by the Ladies of Literature project and did these. Seeing all of the wonderful art inspired by female characters in books made me wish I was participating, so I drew two of my favorite characters by one of my favorite authors. Robin McKinley’s books are amazing, and I have lost count of how many times I’ve read The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. Aerin and Harry are inspiring, and not because they manage to do everything right. They don’t feel like they fit into society the way they should, are well aware of their flaws, and seem to stumble onto their destinies by accident. In spite of all of that, both of them step up to fight for what they care about. Even though the people they care about have not always cared for them. Even though they have little hope of success. Even though their enemies are so powerful that defying them could mean death, both of these heroes take a stand.
A while ago I came upon hardcover copies of both of these books at the Creative Re-use store. They’re in fine condition except for the chunk of the dust jackets that seem to have had library barcodes cut out of them. Even though I already owned paperback copies, I snapped them up because I didn’t want them to turn into someone’s up-cycled book project. Someday I’m going to see about making prints of these paintings and incorporating them into replacement dust jackets, because I think that would be pretty cool.
(I might do a different one for Harry at some point because she looks a little too serene, but I love the way Aerin turned out.)