G is for (Books About) Growing Up #atozchallenge

For A to Z 2018, my theme is Books About ____. If you’re stopping by from your own A to Z blog, feel free to leave a link. If you need help with how to do that, you can look here.

If you’re someone looking to read a lot of great blogs, here’s the link for¬†the A to Z challenge.

With the frequency that young adult fiction shows up on this blog, it may come as no surprise that a lot of them have themes about growing up. We all get older, but we don’t all get wiser… at least not at the same rate. I could have done all YA books, but I decided to mix it up a bit. It’s more fun that way.

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon (YA contemporary): Maddy is literally¬†allergic to everything, so she’s not allowed to go outside or interact with other people. She’s lonely but has figured out how to build a life for herself. Growing up often means questioning what people have told us and learning about the world for ourselves, and that’s what Maddy ultimately has to do when she starts developing a friendship with Olly, the boy who moves in next door. I was in Las Vegas, hanging out with a friend I hadn’t seen in years, and I still couldn’t put this book down. I’m pretty sure she’s forgiven me.

Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen (literary classic): Elizabeth and Darcy both grow up throughout this book, learning that the assumptions they’ve made about others (but mostly each other) are not correct. I love this book for that reason (and many others). There are so many adults out there who would benefit from learning this lesson.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum (classic): First off, I have to say this… the book is VERY different from the movie. The same main characters are there, and the same basic thing happens, but the book has so much more. When the book starts, Dorothy gets swept away to the land of Oz, and all she wants is for someone to send her back home. She (and eventually the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion) go to seek out Oz to give them the things they want. Along the journey, they have to find their courage and will to fight through obstacles. In the process, Dorothy learns about herself and what’s really important.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (bildungsroman): I read this last year for the Popsugar challenge, “a genre you’ve never heard of.” Bildungsroman is “a novel dealing with someone’s formative years or spiritual education.” It follows Francie from the time she’s about 11 up until about 16. She’s growing up in the slums with a mother who works too hard and a father who’s a drunk. But through it all, Francie finds ways to stay happy and survive. It’s a quiet novel with little action, but Francie is so compelling that it kept me turning pages.

What books about growing up do you love?