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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Short and Sweet: Why YA is a Realistic Category and Teens who will Save the World

I've heard a few people say that inherently, YA is kind of an unrealistic book category--I mean, if a teenager had to save the world, we'd all be SCREWED. And covered in those stupid Ke$ha posters.

Hold up, are you kidding me? Teenagers have saved the world over and over again throughout history. Back in the day teenagers used to be the captains of ships, the fodder for armies, even the rulers of nations. It only takes a quick look through European, Chinese, or American history to find examples: Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, King Tut, they were all influential teenagers. Most pirate captains started out as teens, and the historical mother of Jesus was most likely only 14 when she did her thing and challenged all known religion with her belief she'd been impregnated by YHWH.

Historically, "teenager" is a 50s phenomenon that was invented to describe a new transitional phase in a rapidly gentrifying and comfort-based society. It's not a real thing, it's a construct.

Teenagers can still save the world, if they stop believing that they have to wait until they "grow up" to fulfill their dreams. These teenagers are doing it right now: http://archive.causes.msn.com/kids_save_the_world/?section=gallerylong

Never ask a kid what he wants to be when he grows up. Ask him what he wants to be, and show him how he can take steps towards that NOW.


  1. Replies
    1. Balamurali Ambati became a real-life doctor at 17! And Sho Yano became a doctor at 21, which means he'd finished college in his teens, too.