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Fantasy Books For Young Adults
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Contrary to what the term “fantasy books for young adults” says it’s not really only for young adults. It’s said to be directed at the ages 12 to 18, but in reality people of all ages can read and appreciate them. The young adult fantasy and fiction has gotten so much attention lately that a lot of people outside the more typical age group haven’t been able to avoid noticing it. Today most of us have experienced the Harry Potter series and the Twilight saga in some way, and with the Hunger games coming out as a movie in March 2012 the genre of fantasy books for young adults is truly peeking.

Although the fantasy literature for young adults has gained loads of positive attention the last few years, it has also been attacked by concerned parents, schools, and others. Some people seem to think that the fantasy books and movies have a dangerous influence on teenagers. The concerns centers on thoughts of too much violence and hostility and that it’s encouraging villainous behavior and distancing from reality.

As someone who feel in love with fantasy and fiction at a young age I want to, no I need to, bring some attention to the good of fantasy books for young adults in particular. I think it’s important because the elements of fantasy that cause concerns can, in my eyes, be positive for development. Not just for young adults but for everyone that realize that fantasy and imagination can enrich our lives. Below I will outline the ongoing discussion of the three biggest arguments against young adults reading fantasy books. And for those who agree with me in the end, there are some great reading suggestions!

One argument against fantasy books for young adults is that it’s too violent and presents too much hostility for young minds. At first glance it might sound true that violence feeds violence but if we dig a little deeper we see that reality is probably much crueler than any fantasy or fiction written for our young. Pretending that there’s no suffering and viciousness out there would do no one any good. Since we all sooner or later come face to face with enemies why not let them, and us, be familiar with the notion of courageous knights and brave heroes.

Another argument against experiencing fantasy books as a teenager is the almost constant recurring evil and villains. People worry about teenagers imitating the behavior that they read about. It’s true that young adults are in a transitional stage where they are struggling between doing what they are told and deciding things on their own. But saying that knowledge about evil doesn’t serve a purpose is foolish. Think about it, what would evil be without good, and vice versa. Most writers use evil as a mechanism for highlighting what’s good and right.

The third argument presented against fantasy books for young adults is that of escapism, in other words, separating teenagers from reality in an unhealthy way. To this I only want to say that there’s a big difference between fantasy as a psychological illness and fantasy as a healthy imaginative story.

Fantasy books can teach us a lot of lessons. It’s often about facing hardship with courage, challenge injustices, and seeing the greater good. It has possibilities for instilling idealism in our minds and shows us that passion for causes is what leads to victory and success. With stories of magic we learn that actions have consequences and that we cannot take without giving back. Finally, one of the most important things fantasy books can give us is the love for differences and oddities. If we accept and feel for different races, cultures, and languages in the fantasy world the chance is big that we also do it in reality.

I honestly don’t believe that fantasy books for young adults have anything to do with teenagers’ behavior. And if you had doubts before, I hope you have changed your minds after reading this. If you don’t know what this genre is really about I will give you some pretty great reading suggestions.

10 great fantasy books for young adults

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer

The lightning thief (Percy Jackson) by Rick Riordan

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

The Farseer triology by Robin Hobb

His dark materials by Philip Pullman

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman

The Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

Wyrmeweald by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell


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