Monday, May 7, 2018

Read More MG Books (Guest Post by Lilyn G, Blogger at Sci-Fi and Scary)

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
Hey, everybody!  Hope your weekend was good.  Today I’ve invited one of the pillars of the horror community to stop by the blog.  I asked Lilyn G of Sci-Fi and Scary to write about whatever topic she wanted (in the reading and writing field - this is ATB, after all.). I think her choice will intrigue you.  Let’s meet her briefly and then jump right in to the guest post!

About Lilyn G:

Lilyn G is the founder of the book and film reviews and news site Sci-Fi & Scary, which focuses on primarily independent works. Insomniac, rabid reader, spoonie, and afflicted by PTSD, she is frequently unfiltered, and fond of telling horrible jokes. Also, there’s the tentacle thing.

Guest Post:

I run a website devoted almost exclusively to science fiction and horror books. My favorite book, currently, is Jake Bible’s STONE COLD BASTARDS. I love foul-mouthed shoot-em-ups, super-sized chomp’n’stomps, space exploration, and head-spinning possession books. Yet believe me that I am utterly serious when I say:

I think we could all benefit from reading more middle-grade books.

Middle-grade literature is aimed at 8-to-13-year-olds. It’s that lovely space right between boys/girls have cooties, and oh-lawdy-lawdy, the hormones! These books are aimed at readers old enough to handle chapter books, but not old enough to be interested in finding their one true mate, love triangles, sex, etc. They’re not going to put up with 600-page tomes from authors whom are very interested in describing every single aspect of their world, including the particular shade of blue-green the trees on the northern most hill turn when the summer solstice sun hits them at a certain angle.

Some of the books that have affected me the most have been from the middle grade section. Sure, some of them (a lot of them) are downright entertaining, and good ‘forget the world reads’, but there are lots of books in this age group that can hit you right damn in the feels. Whether it be straight written word like Dominion by Shane Arbuthnott or Wonder by R.J. Palaccio, or a graphic novel like Ghost by Raina Telgmeier or El Deafo by Cece Bell, modern day middle grade fiction doesn’t treat young readers like they’re precious little things made of glass who can’t handle anything more than fluff’n’stuff. (I specified modern day middle-grade fiction because that’s what I’ve read the most of. )

Of course, middle grade literature, or MG lit for short, isn’t perfect. The tropes are many (single parent, anyone?), but if you’re looking for a plot-driven novel with few distractions, this is where have the best chance of finding something to suit your fancy. And the stories are wonderful. Especially if you’re looking for stories of courageous, kick-butt girls. I’ve found that even if the main character is a boy, it’s not unusual to have a girl steal the show. Want to see what I mean? Check out Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, Max Helsing and the Beast of Bone Creek for starters!

The main reason I say we could all benefit from reading more middle-grade books comes down to two words, though: ‘Hope’ and ‘Courage’. These books are filled to the brim with hope and courage. Whether its in a little girl taking on her father’s kidnappers by herself, even though she’s terrified of basically everything, or a little boy who has been neglected and mentally/emotionally abused his whole life being brave enough to go to a school filled with a population he didn’t know even existed until he was eleven, they’re there again and again.

And I think it’s safe to say that we all need to remember what people filled with hope and courage are capable of achieving, don’t you?

1 comment:

Carrie Beckort said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lilyn! I've been reading a lot more middle grade lately as my daughter is almost 12. She loves to read and so I've been reading several books right along with her. And I agree - some of the books that have affected me most were MG lit.

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