Today, I welcome my friend Sherry Isaac to talk about YA. You can find me and my niece at Sherry's place with a video interview HERE. We discuss the meaning of a phrase that refers to the pre-dating stage. It was easy for me to write a YA post because I seem to think about YA topics 24/7. Sherry, published author of short stories compilation called Storyteller, was a good sport and also wrote about my favorite topic.
YA In My Day By Sherry Isaac
Brinda asked me to post. I said yes. That is where my trouble began.
I read YA, not often, but I don’t write it. And I’m farther removed from the age group than my actions would at times indicate.
What to do, what to do--a conundrum, to be sure. Luckily, my recent Christmas acquisitions included an iPad. A few taps of my fingertips and presto! Four favourite Nancy Drew titles at my most instant disposal.
Book One, Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock.
Compared to modern offerings, the conflict is rather tame. The title gives it all away, and yet...
And yet, I am transported, a teen once more. A rather decrepit teen--free of acne but with a loose caboose and locked knees. Note to self: Do not attempt to take stairs two-at-a-time. EVER.
Wounds licked and ego bandaged, I cracked the spine... so to speak. By means of a glowing 5 x 7 screen, illumination was mine.
What did books offer in my adolescence? First published in 1930, Nancy had a forty-seven year jump on me, but I felt sure the answer to the mystery was contained within her pages.
What was I seeking on the cusp of adulthood, and what did Nancy provide?
At a time when I was most anxious to become an individual in my own right, I needed someone to forge the path and show me the way. I began to venture deeper into unknown waters in the search for my own identity, and my world became larger than I’d ever imagined--a world beyond my front gate.
Stepping outside my shell and into the social circle was a risk. I needed to keep my head above water in this new world. I could either try on my own and risk going under, or I could find someone to show me how it was done.
Eighteen to my thirteen, Nancy was like a big sister, except Nancy never, not even once, told me to get lost. For an awkward teen trying to find my place in the crowd, Nancy was my lighthouse and my life preserver.
While Nancy looked for clues to solve the mystery of the day; I looked for clues on how to fit in.
Nancy moved through her world with confidence. Nancy stood on her own. She took risks, but she had relationships to fall back on for support when she needed it.
Nancy was responsible, articulate and respectful, and so adults took her seriously. They listened to her opinions, and even sought out her advice. Nancy was an expert, showing me the value of wit combined with determination, consistency and common sense.
At a time when I questioned my voice, Nancy demonstrated the power of her own. She had a close circle of friends yet was able to make forays into the world of adults without skinned knees, or bubblegum stuck to her shoe.
Nancy had a strong sense of right and wrong, making her a reliable moral compass. When it came to alcohol or drugs, shoplifting or sex, Nancy’s influence sustained me when it came time to ‘just say no’.
Books provide escape and oh, so much more. We can experience danger in a cocoon of safety. We can experiment time travel without risk of scrambling our molecular structure. We can prepare for a first date, stand up to a bully, or simply take a stand.
Nancy Drew made her debut when the world buckled under the weight of the depression. She stood firm when rock and roll threatened to rot the minds of teenagers around the world. The ultimate demonstration of Girl Power, Nancy was sporty with her friends and for Ned Nickerson, she could always turn on the posh. In 2012, she may seem a little old fashioned. The torch she carried has been passed on to others, but the message she brings as a long-standing heroine is one teens still need to hear.
• Know who to trust.
• Always let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back.
• Treat everyone with respect.
• Refrain from gossip.
• Never underestimate the power of friendship or common sense.
• Bring a flashlight.
• Value your friends.
• Do what is right.
Thank you, Nancy, for showing me the way.
Raised by Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, Alice Munro Short Story Award winner and Maggie Finalist Sherry Isaac's rich storytelling is laced with a pinch of mystery, spiced with a dash of the unexpected and served with a dollop of suspense. Resistant to any one genre, her novels and short stories weave the common thread of everyday life, love and forgiveness into tales that transcend all things, including the grave. Subscribe to Sherry’s Blog, follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, become a fan on Goodreads.