By: Adam Sockel, who read YA as a teen and continues to do so to this day.
Earlier this week, we shared a list of ten of our favorite quotes from young adult books in preparation for Teen Read Week and why they mean so much to us. However, there are so many wonderful YA books out there that we couldn’t stop at that nice round number. So here are eight more quotes to inspire you to read and share these impactful young adult books not just during next week’s Teen Read Week celebrations, but all year long.
One of the most important things that YA books do is explore the numerous feelings and emotions that teenagers experience for the first time of their lives. This includes the complex idea that we can be both filled with joy and sorrow at the same time every now and then.
It’s also an important to learn that not only can we experience opposing emotions at the same time but that there are elements of our world that are always going to be shades of grey. Things can be difficult to understand while also providing a sense of wonder. They can be tragic yet beautiful, elegant but abrasive, damning and brilliant.
As mentioned in our previous collection of quotes, the fact that YA books so frequently promote strong female leads who deal with emotions both real and sometimes magical will forever be one of the main reasons we come back to these books as often as we do.
It’s important to have a plan of action but we must always remember that just because life doesn’t follow that exact path, it doesn’t mean you won’t end up in the right place at the end. To borrow a turn of phrase from Robert Burns, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Even if plans don’t necessarily turn out as you had intended, it still is good to have goals in mind. It can be difficult to stay motivated if you’re not quite sure why you’re doing something in the first place. Set long term goals for yourself and then smaller milestones along the way to keep your focus. And if you aren’t sure of that endgame? Pretending you have one can be better motivation than wandering aimlessly.
This quote hits on something I constantly think about when reading a book. Readers meet ancillary characters along our literary journey and then they disappear from the main arc of the story but I’m always wondering what they’re doing. This is something that’s important to learn about your own life as well. You’ll meet people along the way who may have a small or large impact on your life but regardless, they’re living through their own story as you’re doing the same. This quote reminds me to reach to those people and keep in touch. They’re experiencing the great journey of life just as I am. Their not frozen moments in time, only coming to life when our paths intersect.
Our teenage years are also the first time that we come across people who may actively try to deceive us in one way or another with the stakes being something higher than who won the game of 4-Square (man, I miss playing 4-Square). We begin to learn that the truth isn’t always as simple as right and wrong and we also start to discover that people on both side of an argument will claim to have said truth.
We leave you with a quote from one of the truly classic young adult books that students have been reading for years. To me, The Giver can mirror our teenage years. It shows us that our potentially idyllic youthful years may have been wonderful and filled with bliss but there is so much of the world we’re yet to uncover. The Giver shows, albeit in an extreme way, the fact that their is knowledge out there to uncover. There is music to be heard, colors to see for the first time. It’s a big world and all of it’s knowledge is just waiting for us to find it.
What books will you be reading for Teen Read Week? Let us know and be sure to spread the word about these important and powerful stories.