Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with three groups of high school teens, mostly young women, during their book club discussion. To my delight, they read my novel Unexpected Legacy for their group read in October. It’s mainstream fiction with romantic elements that crosses over to young adult.
It was wonderful to hear that they liked my book, and thought it was engaging and realistic, with characters they could relate to. It was a nice little ego boost.
But what really struck me in the two hours I spent at the school, was how many of the students are reading and writing for pleasure, are interested in the writing and publishing process, and are active on Goodreads. A few of them were even planning to participate in NaNoWriMo. One young woman said she would stay up until midnight on Halloween night so that she could begin writing!
During our discussion, we talked about self-publishing and writing habits. They wanted to know about scene selection, and where ideas come from. They asked great questions about character development and dialog that showed they’d really put some thought into reading and analyzing the book.
I’m thrilled that my kids’ high school librarian is sponsoring a book club. And making it cool. She wrote a proposal, and was granted funds from the school's education foundation to purchase Nooks for the book club and a budget for purchasing ebooks. The students simply check out the Nooks for book club. It’s a great way to foster a love of reading, and to bring together young readers in a support/discussion group.
I know the young adult genre has exploded in the last several years thanks to series such as Harry Potter and Twilight. Still, this is the age of too many activities to choose from, iPhones, and downloadable everything. So I’m really happy to see the kids choosing reading and writing as a pastime. And especially happy to be a part of promoting a love for reading!