Why “Grown-ups” Should Read “Kid” Books

I can’t think of a time in my life that reading hasn’t been a wonderful pleasure of mine.  One year, my sister-in-law gave me the perfect Christmas present:  a new novel and a plate of cookies.  I brewed up a pot of coffee and polished off the book and the cookies and was a happy, happy girl.  I have a short list of accomplishments – but being a good reader tops my list.  (And it is a good thing I am since as a double major in English Literature and History with my minor in Political Science, I did a fair bit of assigned reading.)

Now I know you might be pondering over the relevance of that first paragraph and the title, but I’ll get there, I promise.  Remember, I may be “The Random Ah” but my circle will eventually round.  (BTW, many thanks to Donna Davis for bestowing that moniker upon me.  Very astute that woman.)

In the 41 years I’ve been gracing this planet, books have always played a significant role in my life.  My parents are readers (not as much now as they have vision issues); my siblings are readers.  I entered Kindergarten reading and haven’t stopped.  I can’t pick a favorite book because I have read thousands and thousands of books and so just how does one pick a favorite?  I can’t even pick a favorite genre since they all pique my interest in some way.

But since taking Adolescent Literature at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Lee Galda, I must say this:  if you’ve always considered yourself too “old” to read books for kids, think again.  All grown-ups should be reading “kid lit” and here is why.

Books for younger readers are good and are good for you.

They engage your mind, they challenge your ideals, they make you feel, they make you see the world.

And every grown-up I know could use a little bit of that in his/her day.

Currently, I am ravishing the Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  I started book one on Tuesday and now am chomping at my proverbial bit to finish the last book (that’s book five if you don’t know).  Yes, I’m hooked. I like me some mythology and great characters and action.

And if you’re like me and can polish off a book like a starving man let loose at a buffet bar, well then belly-up to the library’s bar o’ books and find yourself some Percy Jackson, or Harry Potter, or Alexa Daily, or Lyra Belacqua, or anybody breathed life by Katherine Patterson or, well, pretty much anybody.  Take home as many books as you can carry in your big ole grown-up arms and find a way back to your SELF who was perhaps more naive, but way less fettered by this thing we call grown-up-ness.