Last night I probably spent about an hour ranting to my mom about how much the ending of “The Mark of Athena” killed me on the inside. She was nice about it but I could tell what she was thinking “why the heck is my 15-year-old daughter still reading books for kids?” I know that there are plenty of sparklers and manklers out there who will agree with my reasons for still loving “children’s books”.
1. The characters are actually good role models- It seems like in a lot of teen books the characters do things like drugs, underage drinking, and other things that aren’t exactly legal. In these “kids” books the characters are intended to be role models to kids so they do things that are you know, legal.
2. The plots are usually more exciting and aren’t strictly about romance- I can’t stand an insane amount of the whole “I know you’re dangerous but I still love you!” stuff and kids books definitely don’t do that.
3. The characters are well written- In order to get a kid to understand what a character is like the author usually gives a character traits that make that particular character solid, some teen authors have their characters change mindsets because it pleases them *cough* SMeyer *cough*
4. The plot is interesting and keeps you reading- Kids can be seriously ADHD so kid’s books generally have plots that keep moving and don’t draw insignificant events out for 20 chapters.
5. These are the characters you’ve grown up with- I have been reading Percy Jackson since 6th grade I’ve pretty much grown up with this son of the sea god. My friend always dressed up as Harry Potter for the book character parade at my school, he still LOVES Harry Potter to an extent where I overheard him and another friend arguing over who knew Harry Potter the best on a regular basis last year in class.
6. Some books classified as “kid’s books” really can be loved by any age- Harry Potter. I believe that series pretty much defines this point.
7. The authors are fantastic- J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Anthony Horowitz, and Margret Peterson Haddix. I love all these authors and most other people at least LIKE one of them.
8. They don’t require too much brain power to read- Sometimes you just want to read a book you know and love after a long day of school and having to read not-so-fun books.
9. The characters are relatable- There is usually at least one element of a kids book that the reader can connect to, this is actually true for some teen books as well but more true of children’s books.
10. The characters feel like they are friends or neighbors and you really, truly care about what happens to them- In my story about my reaction to the ending of “The Mark of Athena” it’s pretty evident I care A LOT about what happens to Percy and Annabeth. This point is related to point 5, since you have grown up with these characters you really care about their well being unlike some teen books when you are actually waiting and (maybe) hoping for something bad to happen to a character *cough* Bella Swan *cough*.
Now I’m not saying I only like kid’s books and I hate teen books (I mean, look at my username) but sometimes you just get fed up with reading the same story told by different people. If you have other reasons for still adoring children’s books I want to know!
Originally published on October 22, 2012.