My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

3 Books That Made an Impact

 I read books for the pleasure of being transported into someone else's world.  Whether it's fantasy, historical fiction, or YA books, I can begin to see someone else's experiences and appreciate how they handle moments I will never have.  Once in a while a book will come along that completely affects how I see the world.  It changes me.   It is obviously something that does not occur frequently, but when it does it is magical.  Please leave a comment below and share the books that have affected you.  Here are a three YA books that made my head spin:

1.  Monster by Walter Dean Myers

This YA book has an unusual format.  It is written and presented as a screenplay penned by an African-American teen who is on trail for murder.  It delves into complex issues of race, the judicial system, and the effects of living in a violent neighborhood.  As with life, the book does not offer easy answers to why some teens make poor choices.  But it does open one's eyes as to how it can happen.  Showing me this part of society is helping me better understand and humanize these issues.  

2.  OCD, the Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn

Based on it's quirky title, I began reading this with the thought that this would be an entertaining little story.  It is so much more.  This is a story of teen who is desperately trying to cope with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  Told through a series of emails, letters, and school essays (complete with grades and the teacher's comments), this story had me cheering for the main character.  It was an important book for me because the main character was not defined by her mental issues.

In real life (and often in books), the labels of OCD, ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression are slapped on kids by adults.  It is a convenient way to look at a complex situation.  But it also oversimplifies.  This book is full of humor, heartbreak, and humanity.  It is a tear-jerker.  But when you have a good cry you can also feel refreshed and invigorated.  This book gives me such hope.

3.  Every Day by David Levithan

The premise of this book is pure YA Fantasy:  A person jumps from body to body, assuming a different teen's life each day.  Who is the original person?  Is it a boy or a girl?  Does it matter?  Each chapter shows the main character in a new body, a new situation.  It gives a voice to a multitude of teens and the experiences they have.  As the character jumps from boy body to girl body, there is no conflict or angst about gender or sexuality, only acceptance of who and where this person is at the time.  This book opened my mind to the concept of gender fluidity.  It also helped me understand more deeply about the differences between gender identity and sexual identity.  It is a mind-blower!

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  1. These are all great books you chose. I would say two book that affected me a lot were To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. They are both so well written and very moving books.
    ~Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies

  2. Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird was the first book I remember reading that really moved me in school. I have Go Set a Watchman to read, but I keep putting it off. I will check out A monster Calls.


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