Rebecca Stead on Young Adult Lit and Unanswerable Questions

From an interview at Novel Novice, the author of a book I really need to make time to read (When You Reach Me), Rebecca Stead offers this answer to the question “What is the most rewarding thing about writing middle grade/YA novels?”

The freedom to ask big questions. At age eleven, I thought about unanswerable questions all the time. I thought about mortality, I thought about missed connections – what if this had happened? What if this hadn’t happened? I thought about who I would be at future points in my life, and whether I would in fact even be the same person. I thought about other paths my life might have taken, about the unknown people I would eventually love in my life and what they might be doing at that very moment. I don’t think I was a remotely unusual kid, however. Kids grapple with big stuff, and writing for kids allows me to tap that now-underused part of my brain.

Interesting, and I think this taps into something about why it is I enjoy reading well written young adult fiction as an adult.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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