Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Discussion: Authors and the Impact They Have on Readers

By 8:00 AM

Authors and the Impact They Have On Readers
 
Hi guys! I completely did NOT plan on sitting down and writing this, but after having three of the SE-YA in the Boro Book Festival Authors come into our school yesterday, I really felt inspired.
 
Yesterday authors from the book festival went to 19 different schools in our county to talk with students. At our school we had Katie McGarry, Helene Dunbar, and Colette Ballard and wow, what a great day it was!
 
Photo credit: Brian Seadorf, BHS Library
 
1st period one of our English teachers brought her creative writing class to hear the authors talk about their writing process, what it's like to finally get published, and talk about the journey of writing in itself. It was so fantastic!
 
I was fortunate enough to moderate the next panel where the authors talked more in depth about their books, why they write young adult, and share some awesome personal stories.
 
However, the coolest part came after. Seeing the kids interact with them and get so excited about their books and writing made my heart SO HAPPY.
 
A few English classes came to listen to the authors talk, but I also brought my Spanish class. I had talked to them about the authors previously, but not all of them are readers. One of my boys in particular, surprised the hell out of me when he came to me with a copy of Katie's Dare You To  in his hands and asked if he could run to his car because he thought he had $$ out there. He ended up buying the book and I think he got it signed too. Cool, right?
 
WAIT FOR IT....
 
Later on, I ran into him in the hallway and he had the book IN HIS HANDS and was like, "Ms. Mangi! I'm already on page 72! This is so good!" Yeah, I get a little teary-eyed just remembering it. The only book I had ever seen him with was 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff. So to see him clearly enjoying Katie's book was everything.

 
 
These authors have the power to change lives. We all know this, as I'm sure we can't count on one hand all the authors that have changed OURS. Katie said it best when she said, "It's tough to be a teen these days." And I completely agree. There are so many outside factors that they have to deal with: broken home lives, abuse, drugs, bullying, hunger, feelings of despair and loneliness... and much more. They want to see they are not alone. To see a character going through hell themselves and coming out on the other side gives them hope.

I just had to share this with you all.

I know when I read Golden by Jessi Kirby a couple years back that I was forever changed by that book and the message it had to give. I would have done anything to have that book in my hands when I was a high schooler.

 Is there a book that completely caught you by surprise and changed your own life? Do you agree that authors have a huge impact on their readers?

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14 comments

  1. I love this post,Jess!! I especially love the sweet story about the boy who started reading Katie McGarry's books! Just how sweet is that? <3
    You're so right. I think a lot of people underestimate just how powerful books can be. To me, it has always been a means to escape and of course, I've learned so much from books too that I wouldn't have learned in real life.
    And Golden really was a life-changing book. At some point this year, I really want to re-read it.
    Beautiful post, Jess!

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    1. Thanks Nick! I love that he's been carrying it with him every day! It's adorable! Yes. Books had been an escape for me too when I first started blogging and they definitely inspired me and got me through some rough patches.

      I want to reread Golden too. I loved it so much.

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  2. I LOVE this post! Books are what make life easier at times. When things get rough there is NOTHING better than escaping to another world. The story about your student buying Dare You To absolutely melted my heart.

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    1. Thank you Teresa! I agree 100%. Reading is so therapeutic for me. When I'm stressed with work or with life in general, books always make it better. And right? I was just so floored he bought it!

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  3. What an awesome experience Jessica! That is so freaking cool!!

    I think tons of books have changed my life and writers can have such an impact just as teachers do! Getting someone to read a book is always life changing and so important!! ♥

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    1. :) Seriously made my day! I was so happy! The whole day was so awesome for the kids. I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

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  4. I think that meeting authors and hearing them talk about their books has a HUGE impact on me. I've loved it every single time!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Same Nicole! I've always loved listening to them talk! Their stories, experiences, etc are all so interesting! Especially when they come from a rougher situation like Katie did.

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  5. I feel emotional thinking about that boy reading that book and maybe not feeling so alone in his feelings. I totally agree that it's tough time to be a teen and in my own life books have helped me though many tough days. So knowing you have led one teen (especially a boy, not being sexist but I think they need it even more as they are less likely to chat about their feelings) to a book is an achievement and you should feel proud of your part in that.
    Great discussion Jess.

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    1. Thanks Trish. :) Sometimes as an adult, it's easy to get wrapped up in 'adulting' that I forget what it's like to be so young and impressionable. I try to remind myself of that when I get frustrated with the kids because they have so much on their plate.

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  6. This is a spectacular post Jessica^^ I get feels just thinking of younger people getting into reading when they otherwise wouldn't! Obviously for me, I was forever changed by the Harry Potter series and the message of love being more powerful than any evil. But also the themes of sacrifice, loss, friendship and courage just really got to me. I've felt that way since about The Old Kingdom trilogy, The Stormlight Archive, Throne of Glass and Hunger Games. So YES, books and authors have the power to change lives ♥

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    1. Oh I love hearing that Micheline! Harry Potter was definitely a gamechanger for me too! I loved that message and those themes SO MUCH. I don't know if I know Old Kingdom and Stormlight. I need to go check them out!

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  7. Fantastic post Jess! I love that you can see the impact of books and authors on teens and continue to spread the love for reading!

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    1. Thanks Pili! It was so awesome to see firsthand. I love teaching, but there are days I wish I were a librarian or at least able to deal with the books and kids.

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