Friday, July 31, 2009

"An Awfully Big Adventure"

My fellow blogger, Thomas, who is also my best friend, was discussing with me that I seem to favor books aimed at the young adult market and after arguing my side of things, that being that I enjoy both literature and youth fiction, I gave the indictment some thought.

In my heart resides a child's want for imagination. I can look at something multiple ways and let my mind create different uses, worlds or personalities for everyday objects. I think constantly of being a boy who never grows up, of journeying through a wardrobe to have tea with a faun, or falling through a hole and having to chase a non-punctual hare.

In J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan Peter states, "To live would be an awfully big adventure" and truer words may never have been spoken. I just finished another foray into the enchanted world of Neverland by finishing Capt. Hook, in which the tale of the boy who became Captain Hook is told, and told very well I might add. It brought me back to the magical island that holds so much adventure and magic for me.

The same can be said for Oz. In case you were unaware, there are actually 14 separate Frank L. Baum Oz novels. Dorthy was the first but definitely not the last child to go to Oz and the stories got wilder with every book. Frank Baum was a man that understood imagination. In the prefaces of every book are letters written to the children who read the books, discussing how Mr. Baum had communication with Dorothy and that is how he came to know the story of how she landed in Oz. To him, and thus to his readers, Oz was real.

This can be said for all of the fictitious lands that exist. Narnia, Oz, Middle Earth, Alagaesia, and yes, Neverland are all real to some extent. If they only exist in the back yards of children carrying sticks and trashcan lids for the armaments, then that is enough to make me want to keep visiting my favorite places no matter how old I get. And I don't think there will ever be an age to stop me from making that journey.

Sure, there is a place for a Jasper Fford, Ray Bradbury, or Kurt Vonnegut every now and again but the places I want to read about, the ones I hope show up in my dreams, well they just don't exist in books aimed for people over the ages of 14.

"I do believe in faeries"(Clap, Clap),


4 Ripples in the pond:

Simon said...

Now I’m certainly not too proud to read, or re-read, books for children or young adults, but I’m afraid I haven’t read Peter Pan, or seen the stage play: nevertheless, surely the famous words uttered by Peter are “To die must be an awfully big adventure.”? (I’m quite happy to be corrected on this; perhaps he said both.)

But you’re right of course. I’ve never quite followed the way that having a rich imagination, or to fantasise easily, are regarded as things that should be grown out of.

Trinity said...

Simon, I do believe that both lines are uttered but I may be the one who is incorrect. I agree completely that growing out of the mindset of a child is an appauling idea.

Carrie said...

Well thank goodness I'm not alone in loving books that are meant for young adults. :) I have a long-lived addiction for Tamora Pierce's Tortall collection, and the Chronicals of Narnia...and quite a few more. The Giver will probably always be one of my all-time favorites.

And thank you for the comment on my blog, as well. :)

Girl Interrupted said...

Awww!! I LOVE this post!! :) Children's literature contains some of the best work ever written, why should we stop reading it and enjoying it just because we become adults? The real world is grim, we all deserve to choose our own fantasy worlds and escape there for a short while if we want to.

Ps: I'm NEVER growing up

Pps: I do believe in fairies! I do! I do! *claps hands*