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August 16, 2013

Teen Board: You’re Reading WHAT?

By Mary M.

When was the last time you saw your fellow classmates nose-to-pages riveted to the thick works of Dickens? Or sighing, melancholy, over Shakespeare at the beach?

Um. Never.

Classics. They get a mixed reaction --- everything from "yeah, not for me" to "the horror!" to "oh... that's nice" (while sometimes hastily retreating, as if the pages hold some disease). When I lugged A TALE OF TWO CITIES along with me for several days, teachers were impressed. Kids looked at me with either respect or an obvious questioning of my sanity. 

You're reading WHAT?

Come on! Ladies and gentlemen, you book-lovers across the world! There are a variety of excuses as to not reading classics: type's too small, cover's not interesting enough, you're allergic to the dust, which will obviously poof from the spine in a cloud, great enough to block out the sun --- stop. Think.

Give them a chance. 

No, I'm serious. Look past that daunting term of "classic," look past the blocks of type, and all you'll find is another book. It's waiting to be read. 

Classics are classics because many, many people have loved them over a long, long time. They may be from centuries ago, or they may be more recent. They're all about people, and, let's face it, people haven't changed that much. There's still greed, jealousy, hope, desperation, sorrow, vanity, courage and so many more qualities in us, in this 21st century. You'll find that the March sisters may sound a lot like your own family. You'll laugh just as much at the foolery in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM as its very first audience did. You'll feel Anne Shirley's wholehearted joys and tragedies and temper.  

The writing style will often be different, and with the often infrequent paragraph breaks and sometimes out-of-date language used, they won’t be the easiest book you’ll read. These characters, though, will be the ones that you remember years later. These will be the turns of events that you think about again and again. These will be the people who you learn to call friends --- all through the pages of a classic.


What do you say? Ready to brave what’s, after all, only another book? THAT’S what you’re reading