I don’t just mean any old books.
Read Young Adult literature, because it helps us relate with one another. It reminds us that we are not young adults struggling by ourselves in a world that just doesn’t seem to sympathize or understand us, and that creepy men in their thirties know what strife we’re grappling with. Stories with happy endings give us hope, brightening the path to what now looks like a dismal future; meanwhile, stories where everything does not end up okay remind us that this world that we live in is imperfect. Not every loose end is tied, not every secret is revealed, and there are always many “what-ifs” left unanswered. But this genre of literature helps us angsty teens cope, situating its main characters and supporting characters in positions that feel familiar.
Betty Smith is actually one of the most strikingly beautiful women I’ve ever seen.
Daily Prompt: What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?
So, I suppose that you could say that I’m still a child. Does 16 constitute being a child? Is being a teenager mutually exclusive with being a child? Who knows.
When I was in middle school, I read a book series called, “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter.” It takes place in the twenty first century, and follows the adolescent life of a girl who loves reading. The greatest part about the series was not that actual story, but the fact that the author provided a list of suggested reads at the end of the book. After I finished the book, I skimmed the reading list for a title that caught my eye.
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith
Isn’t the title at least a little bit intriguing? Not many people agree with me, but I personally became very interested with title. What kind of tree, and what’s so special about Brooklyn? Perhaps that wasn’t my train of thought. Maybe I just asked a friend or did a quick Google search for a summary.
Either way, I ended up reading the book in seventh grade or so. At the time I just really liked the book simply because it had a wonderful story. And that was it, for the time being.
But then as the years went by and my English teachers taught me year-after-year about literature analysis, symbolism, and motifs, I realized that there was no doubt more to the story.
I checked it out again sometime in high school. Ninth grade, perhaps? Eventually I had checked it out enough times for me to decide that I needed an actual copy.
And you know how people operate. You go to new events and they need icebreaker games to introduce themselves, and one of the most commonly asked questions is: “What’s your favorite book?”
In those days, I’d probably say something like the Harry Potter series or some book that I had recently read. While HP and plenty of other books were fantastic, the one that kept coming back to me and calling to me personally was “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”
So now, I don’t even hesitate when people ask me for my favorite book. I recall childhood memories of hiding under the covers with a flashlight trying to finish this book. Yes, these things actually do happen!
Since learning about literary analysis and the once-alien concept of “annotation,” my favorite book has become all the more personal, filled with markings indicating my favorite passages, with arrows and lines, with explanations of why a certain passage is important.
I also just learned about World War One in my AP Euro class. Although I knew generally what had happened, I hadn’t known the exact position of the United States, but now all of that has been much more contextualized for me. And it helps! I am able to more easily relate with the sentiments of the families who had to send their men to war.
A quick summary: The book plays out in many flashbacks, covering the background story of Frances Nolan’s parents, following Francie through her childhood, all the way to her first year at college. She is born right around the turn of the twentieth century, and as a young lady she sees the indirect effects of World War One on the people that live in her city.
^That summary does not even suffice; I heavily recommend that any girl under 21 who has the ability to read, read this book.
They say that one of the best ways to understand a person as well as their morals and priorities is to read their favorite book. This book touches me because Francie’s character exemplifies how I would like to approach my problems, and the society that I grow up in. Since she first went to school, she’d wanted to be a writer. Her family was comprised of immigrants, and they had endured many hardships and economic struggles to rise out of the poverty that they had continually been confined to. The story follows her from her childhood to the beginning of her adulthood, and depicts changes in perspectives as she becomes continually more mature, and gets increasingly globalized in perspective. These changes build character. I take her personal revelations in consideration, accepting my ultimately infinitesimal role in society. Francie expressed a strong interest in writing, and the method that Betty Smith utilizes to explain why help spark my interest in literature as well. The lessons that I take from the book guide the way I deal with overarching problems.
Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
I can’t write about a time when this actually happened because it has never happened to me – or to anyone else, probably.
I’m going to guess that the majority of my blog readers are adults because there are only so many adolescents that can be interested in reading blogs.
If you’re an adult, everyone’s bound to have a mid-life crisis sooner or later. Of course, I’m not a grownup but I think it’s safe to assume that MOST adults are much more mature than kids.
If you happen to be a teenager, then thanks for reading!
Sure, we’re all teenagers. We have our day-to-day dramas and our world seems to turn upside down every other week but whether or not you react rationally to such a “crisis” depends upon two things: your perspective and your maturity.
We just don’t get it. This – my not being an adult – is precisely the reason why I can’t talk about a time when Murphy’s Law has ever applied to my life.
When I was in seventh grade, unlimited texting was the cool thing to have. I didn’t have it originally and I used to argue with my parents for days, coming up with stupid explanations to justify them buying me an unlimited texting plan.
Same thing happened with an iPhone. Or a certain clothing item, or a pair of headphones.
Those are the things that consumed my life when I was just a little younger. These sorts of material possessions seemed to determine my self-worth, and thus I just “had to have them.”
Sadly, not having one of these things would turn my world upside down and I’m ashamed to say that it would make me sullen for days on end.
So if I had started this blog back in seventh grade and been given this quote about Murphy’s Law, I would probably rant about not having unlimited texting or something.
Eventually, I got an iPhone, and a pair of cool headphones. While there are definite perks to having such things, in this present day and age, it really doesn’t matter to me anymore. I’ve got more important priorities to manage right now, and it’s amazing how much these desires shrink when compared to more substantial, reasonable goals.
If you maturely define what actually matters, anything that can go wrong will never always go wrong, especially not at the same time.
There will be “travesties” that can easily be disregarded simply because they don’t really impact your life in much of a way. There will be huge upsets in your life that you won’t expect that will make it seem like the end of the world, but seldom does that actually mean your life is ruined. Your day could easily be ruined though.
But what if we woke up everyday and decided that we were in a good mood? Would we reach world peace? Or would everyone just look a tad bit less cranky every morning?
These are my thoughts on personal disasters.