Question: What's your favorite YA author from your teen years?
At first I wasn't sure how to answer this questions and then I remembered Lurlene McDaniel. I found my first book in a corner library of my reading classroom in Intermediate School. I'm not sure what drew me to her other then it was different then what I usually gravitated to, but I was going to give it a try.
Lurlene McDaniel's books are numerous and I was determined to own each and every one of her books I could get my hands on (without getting duplicates). All of her books are about teenagers who are close to deadly illnesses, weather with their own diagnosis or someone they care about. And, in almost every book (if not all of them), someone dies. The emotion was real. It was strong. I remember feeling like it was real, but fiction enough to no feel too real. They were the first books that made me cry...and boy did I bawl!
Eventually I had read all of her books I could get my hands on and was struggling to find more. I ended up moving on, as one does, to read other things. And then, a couple of years later, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. I remember being devastated. My Grammy was a huge part of my daily life and I was terrified. Being young, people tried to explain to me things that, of course, I didn't know. They spoke about chemotherapy and radiology. They talked about hair loss and loss of appetite. But I thought I was set. I'd read Lurlene McDaniel!
In reality, of course, reading Lurlene McDaniel didn't really prepare me for the reality, for anything other then the superficial ideas of beating cancer. It didn't really prepare me for the deep, emotional. It did, though, allow me to focus less on the idea of the process and more on my Grammy and her personal experience without on figuring out what to expect. It was the first time I remember something fictional I read with no ties to reality when I read it, transcended into reality in such a untactful way.
Well...that's my story, what's yours? What Young Adult author did you love when you were a teen? Let us know in the comments!