Sunday, August 25, 2013

Inspirational Teens: people and places

Hello! The next time I talk to you I will be back at school. It sounds bad, but I'm starting my A-Levels when I go back to school. For people reading this that don't live in England, A-Levels are basically higher level exams after GCSE exams. You do them from the ages of 16-18. I'm excited to be going back to the same place, but with many new people who will be entering my school. This is a good time for new adventures in places but with different people.

Talking about people and places, I was talking to (well, tweeting actually!) a girl called Charlotte who will be in this week's instalment of Inspirational Teens. Books have changed her life and she was telling me things that could perhaps inspire more people to read. This is what Charlotte said:

"Reading opens up the chance to escape reality and get away from whatever is happening around me and gives me the chance to come across places I may never get the chance to visit and learn about people I will never get to meet. It lets me live several different lives while never actually leaving my own life. There is something comforting in sitting down and getting sucked into the life of a fictional character, and being able to relate to them. Reading can help you overcome problems and barriers you never ever knew you had."

These are all really good points, but I love the last one the most. Having a character that has a problem, whether it being physical, emotional, or part of their environment, can help the reader gain empathy for later in life. Sure, the reader presently may not have the same problem or may not have come across someone with the same problem as the fictional character, but reading more and more can help a reader build up the knowledge of different problems and how to deal with someone who has that problem. This can be very rewarding, especially in younger readers, as they may need these skills throughout their school life. 

The philosophy of it is simple. More reading means more life skills. The range of young adult fiction available to us is abundant and we can take advantage of this to get teens reading. Personally, I have learnt so much about people from reading, since I don't (and never have) had a large or committed friendship group, I need characters in books to give me a perspective of other people, so that I can make more friends and predict the type of people I'm dealing with. It does help, trust me. I have used many skills that I learnt in books to help me with friendships. 

That's all for now. I'll see you in two weeks, and maybe I'll tell you about some new adventures I've had!

The Book Critic x

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