professornana (professornana) wrote,

being something I am not

A very short post tonight as tomorrow is the presentation Rosemary Chance and I are doing with A S King, Scott Westerfeld, and Helen Frost at the YALSA Lit Symposium.  In addition to 3 weddings since I arrived at this hotel in St. Louis, tonight was the night (apparently) that adults dressed up for Halloween.  It is disconcerting to pull up to the hotel and see ghouls and the like smoking outside the front doors.  The lobby was even more surreal with Scooby Doo and the Gang, pirates, Roman soldiers, and more.  It got me thinking about YA literature (really?).

Books allow me (and other readers) to try on different personas for a time and then to shed those skins easily, as easily as sliding off the costumes and washing off the face paint.  For a little while I can be an outlaw;  I can fall in love;  I can lose my best friend and find a new one.  I can take pieces of the characters I love and allow them to sink more deeply inside so I do not shed them.  But I can also quickly discard fear, hatred, prejudice and the like.  Books are like that.  They can help us try stuff on and then accept or reject what we like or dislike.  And we can do all this safely within the world of the story.

Happy Halloween!  YA:  all treats!
Tags: discarding, halloween, trying on
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