Academic journal article English Journal

Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book

Academic journal article English Journal

Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book

Article excerpt

Young adult literature often places great emphasis on the power of harmony and participation in community. Though the protagonists of such novels continue to face their own perils and personal conflicts, such matters are typically assuaged (to a great degree) by the mere presence of companions and friends. The grim destiny that burdens Harry Potter in J. K. Rowling's award-winning series, for instance, is unquestionably a terrible crisis; but from the onset of his first adventure, Harry is bolstered by the steadfastness and intimacy of his friendships with Hermione and Ron, bonds that begin to take root from their first encounter. Heroes such as Harry are often marked as special and different, but whatever distance this creates between him and others is closer to awkward discomfort rather than true, encumbering isolation.

The knowledge of existing apart from others has a profound influence on any mind, let alone that of a developing teenager. The need to belong and find a place within reality is a powerful motivation, yet in such endeavors, the turmoil of youth often creates more challenges than it does solutions. …

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