Realistic fiction is a unique genre in YA because it illustrates challenging situations you may not have personally experienced but connects you to emotions you have. Whether it's uncovering life-altering secrets, making a tough choice, coming to terms with your sexuality or finding your voice, realistic fiction addresses themes relevant to real life. To highlight some of their fantastic realistic fiction, Macmillan established their ReaLITy program. Our Teen Board decided to check out these reads and respond to them in this blog series.
Sometimes, you can pinpoint the exact moment your life is changed.
That moment, it changes everything. Irrevocably. You know nothing will ever be the same again. You know you will see things from a new light. You know that something is happening as it occurs.
This moment for Brother (aka Billy) in BROTHER, BROTHER was when his grandmother died (which is no spoiler, I assure you!). He's sent on a whirlwind of a trip, and within a week, life as he knows it completely changes. And all of that can be traced back to the moment his grandmother passed away. He knew it, too, although he couldn't really control it.
I had my moment two years ago when my parents suddenly announced that we would be moving far away from the place that I had grown up in. I had lived in the same house, gone to school with the same kids, played in the same weather for my entire childhood, and now my parents decided we were just going to get up and move.
Of course, as any kid would do, I protested. Cried. Threw tantrums. But when I stared at my ever shrinking hometown through the back window, I knew things were going to change. I had the sudden realization that things would never be the same.
I was right.
Of course, looking at the decision now, I know for sure that it was the right one to make. I live in a much bigger town now, with a better school system (and competitive, which makes for long nights studying). I have access to some of the best events in the entire country. My parents promised me that we'd make the 16 hour drive back every summer, and that has been fulfilled.
I'm happy, although still bittersweet, about it all. I miss the friends I grew up with. I miss the school playground I played on. Heck, I even miss the weather. But this moving thing has only helped me grow as a person, as I've started to find who I am and what I really stand for.
I expect Brother feels the same, really. These kinds of things can be hard, but we have to know that it's only for the better, even if that "better" is in the future. It can be hard, but sometimes, it can be worth it.