This is a big week for me! My Young Adult medieval book, An Uncertain Choice, released!
I’m thrilled that readers are already enjoying the book. One reader, JoJo Sutis, said this: “With so many mixed messages of young love in the world today… An Uncertain Choice is like a breath of fresh air. The world simply needs more books like this.” JoJo’s Corner
Another of my readers, Cassie Baker, said something similar:
“Young readers are easily influenced by the books they read and many times the books offered to them aren’t the most wholesome or uplifting. With Jody’s arrival in the YA market, she is filling a much-needed space in the world of YA with An Uncertain Choice. ”
Over the past several years I’ve read a TON of YA. Part of the reason is because I have three teens and one tween. So I want to keep up with the literary smorgasbord offered to kids, especially because so many books end up as blockbuster movies.
Both the books and the resulting movies open the door for lots of discussion. We talk about objectionable behaviors, difficult life-issues, character likability, and so much more.
One question I almost always ask is: So what’s this author’s world view?
We all have a world view – a set of principles we live by or the philosophy of life that guides us. Usually we see everything through the lens of our world view which dictates how we live, the decisions we make, the way we treat others, etc.
Authors have world views too. And those views color and shape everything we write into our books, whether we intend to or not.
For example, after reading the recent best seller A Fault in Our Stars, I talked to my daughters about cancer and all of the sadness and fear that come with it. But beyond that, we talked about the author’s world view. What did he believe about death, the afterlife, about God (or the lack thereof), and about the meaning of human existence?
The author’s philosophies DO come across. Perhaps subtly. But they are there nonetheless.
Most of the time, however, we don’t really take the time to think about the views that form the foundations of the books we read. In fact, I would go as far to say that most of the time our kids read for entertainment with little thought about the author’s world view and how it may or may not line up with what they believe.
As a result of simply drinking in whatever we’re told, we become susceptible to fads, whims, and sometimes even deceitful philosophies masquerading as good.
You can probably tell that I permit my children to read a wide variety of books. While I don’t allow them to read everything, I also don’t shelter them or require them to only read classics. Hand-in-hand with giving them the opportunity to read popular books, I take my responsibility seriously to have frank discussions about what they’re reading (and watching).
While frank discussions are good and fine, what I’d really like to see are more popular books that don’t require so much parental vigilance. I agree with both JoJo and Cassie in their statements above, that I would love to have more choices for wholesome books that I can put into my kids’ hands.
It’s my prayer that An Uncertain Choice can be that kind of book, the kind that not only entertains but also uplifts and teaches what true love, sacrifice, and courage are really all about.
Christian YA has historically not sold well, so most CBA publishers have been reluctant to print a lot of YA (which is why there isn’t much Christian YA available compared to the booming general market).
One way consumers can ensure that publishers put out more wholesome YA is by supporting and buying books from the authors who write it. If readers rally behind Christian YA authors, buy their books, and demand more, then publishers will start to notice.
If you would like the chance to win a copy of An Uncertain Choice for yourself or a young person that you know, head over to my personal blog! There are a few hours left to get into the drawing. And if you don’t win a copy there, don’t despair! I’m having a blog tour throughout March and will be giving away a copy of the book at each stop.
Do you talk to your kids about what they read? What do you like the most or least about the current young adult book market?
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