What is it about the books we read as teens that makes them some of the most memorable stories? The other day, as I stood in a ridiculously long line at the grocery store, I tried to figure out if it’s because of the way our minds work when we’re kids teetering on adulthood or if it’s the books themselves.
In my past life as a college instructor, I taught English. My favorite subject to teach wasn’t poetry or memoir, although poetry was a close second. The course that made me jump up and down when I saw it on my upcoming course schedule was “Literature for Adolescents and Young Adults.”
The minute I saw the course number (327) and name, books would start throwing themselves at me–figuratively, of course.
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Those are just a few of my favorites. But why?
As I was thinking, I was probably scowling at the cashier. Then, as I tossed my lettuce onto the conveyor belt, I had my epiphany.
It’s the narrator, silly!!!!!!!!
- June and the other six narrators
I love all of them. They are all me, and I am them. Maybe that’s why I love writing memoir. The first person point of view and the narrator with my voice. Like Scout, like Anne, and even like Charlie.
If you haven’t read these books, what are you waiting for? Go! to the bookstore, the library, or GULP if you have to, your Kindle.