National Young Readers Week

National Young Readers Day

Hello lovely readers!!

As some of you may know Monday was National Young Readers Day and this whole week is National Young Readers week, which is an annual event started in1989 by the The Book-It Program and the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.  The focus of these events is to support youngsters that are already reading to continue, to  encourage those who have not experienced the magic that stories bring, and to build awareness around the importance of childhood literacy.

casper mattress

In light of this celebration we were asked by the awesome folks over at the Casper mattress makers to talk about the role of bedtime stories played and what some of our favorites. (before I go to far, I just want to say that you can call Casper and get a bedtime story read to you… no kidding)

It kinda goes without saying that literature and reading are huge parts of our lives, but for all three of us, having our noses in books goes way back.  We three were blessed to have mommies that were more than happy to satisfy our wondering minds and feed our imaginations.  Of course fairy tales were a staple, among our favorites are Cinderella (especially the folk-y versions) and Sleeping Beauty, and of course Peter Pan!  JB has a very Disney fan filled family so she got lots of Mickey Mouse!

A staple of bedtime was Little Golden Books. Every time is see that shiny gold spine I get reminiscent… Used to you could only find them at garage sales or Goodwill but now World Market carries them!  I think B&N as well!  I remember one in particular, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, was really cute.  Part humorous bedtime (or anytime!) story, part fable.little golden saggy baggy elephantSpeaking of fables, I love, and will read to my children, folk tales and fables from other cultures.  I have a few old books of different international children’s tales and I love reading them even now.  From this point I wan to squee a little bit about this film I just saw…  Ah! It’s beautiful!  Ok, it’s called Song of the Sea and it is basically a beautifully illustrated book come to life. The story is about a little girl who learns she is a selkie (a Scottish/Irish lore creature that is a girl on land and, when wearing her seal coat, transforms into a seal when in the sea) and is seeking her mother and there’s magic and happiness… and i don’t want to say too much but it’s beautiful…

A partner of National Young Readers Week is One More Story.  OMS brings new and old children’s books to life with full-out narration, with voices and sound effects and musically scored and everything!  They are available for device access and feature read-a-long and click-to-hear word identification options.  They are offering a free book a day until Friday!

Well that’s it for today!!   I hope you are having a fabulous week wherever you are!
If this made you think of any favorite books from your childhood we’d love to hear about them!
National young readers week

The lovely graphic up top was borrowed from fellow book blogger Erin over at The Hardcover Lover who also posted about her childhood reading!

Catching up with the Girls

Happy Fall you guys!!!

Only two months left until next year! canyoubelieveit?!?   Then begins a whole new year of new and wonderful things, all the new books and festivals and events and new people and old friends and great adventures!  But this year isn’t over yet and we’ve already begun to have new adventures and do all sorts of grown-up things!

JB is getting into the groove at her new job (not to mention being the cutest fur-mommie ever!)

Jules just finished her first week of her first class of her Masters program and her second week of a new job!

To add to the madness Jules has also decided to finish the Hunger Games series!

Rachel is hard at work being the youth activities coordinator at her library.  For Halloween she threw really awesome event for all the lovely patrons, readers, kids, and families.

Unfortunately these things are super time drains,

*but we haven’t forgotten about you love readers!*

we still love y’all 🙂

We promise that along with the new friends and great adventures, the new year will bring a refreshed Girls in Plaid.  On that note if you have any ideas you want us to blog about, or cool activities, or authors, or challenges for us, just let us know!  Comment her or tweet us on the Twitter or find us on the Instagram!

Hope everyone had a wonderful (and safe) Halloween!  We would love to see yalls costumes and candy hauls! Tag us in your Insta pics!  We had tons of fun dressing up to get in on the fun and help Rae out with the library bash.  Dressed as a gypsy, I painted faces, which is super fun, but harder than it sounds when said face keeps wiggling and suddenly you have to make that dragon’s wings be somewhere you didn’t intend for them to be, or convince them that all the cool spiders have a random leg with extra joints…  JB was part of the really fantastic haunted maze that Rae set up.  She was a Weeping Angel from the Dr Who series. She did a great job of being super creepy, even though i totally knew it was her!  Honestly, I haven’t done a haunted anything in years and I went through with our friend Paige and a mom and her son (who was maybe 8).  Nobody wanted to go first, so we elected him because he had a sword… Regardless we were in for surprises and screams.  At least now I know I can survive an elevated heart rate… O.o   But getting to be around kids having fun is so cool.

the gypsy, the weeping angel, and the princess (with a Pascal)

the gypsy, the weeping angel, and the princess (with a Pascal)

our very own weeping angel!

our very own weeping angel!

Anyway we love you guys

Top Ten Tuesday: Finished Series We HAVEN’T Finished

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke And The Bookish!

Oh life… you do know how to really get in the way of all the wonderful books.  We all have a TBR, but more than a TBR list, is an UNFINISHED list!  These are series that we have started, loved, and want to finish but, alas, have not yet.

  1. Mary Poppins  – P.L. Travers (Rachel)
  2. Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis (JB)
  3. When Calls the Heart – Janette Oak (Rachel)
  4. Once Upon a Marigold – Jean Farris (JB)
  5. Legacy of the King’s Pirates – M.L. Tyndall (JB & Rae)
  6. Legend – Marie Lu (JB)
  7. Maximum Ride – James Patterson (Jules)
  8. Alex Rider – Anthony Horowitz
  9. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery (Jules & Rae)
  10. False Memory – Dan Krokos (Jules & JB)

Do you have a series sitting on your shelf or TBR waiting to be picked back up?

 Ever had one spoiled for you?  Because that happens and is *totally* motivation-zapping…

GG6: Plaid Style

Hello lovely readers!!

There are some outfits for the rule breakers, the preppy gals, the cautious dressers, the non-conformists, the maxi-skirters, and the blazers-and-jeans. I’m just gonna throw all these in and let the loving begin!!

That plaid with stripes reminds me of what I wore when we met Ally Carter for the first time!

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest!  You can find all these fabulous outfits on our Plaid Fashion board!

2bb1941bfce2d615c92c64ff4a29fc28 5b05bbb5701cbb3d21e87a5c0fcd93ea 6e600ab292e2a13be9503937c7c07674 12e6788e9b127b17dd91c501bd2109b3 7377d177e651dd0b911d8ac8d0fbc8a6 7796ad41aa593d4138a1d65e13369425 21548aea89bf78053778a3c9ec2cf54a a41c292dda50c2efac7a1b6138fa74e7 a72f86bf2984aee361039a5aea223f3f ad0e6810e378f292bb920fd3e28d6fd4

Which ones you would totally work, or wish you could work?

(I’m totally envying that plaid shirt and black skirt…)

GG4: Recap

Another week gone!  Another book in the series! And wasn’t it just… Oh, the feels!!  Talk about intense.

Here are some of our fav quotes and thoughts! (Warning: contains spoilers!)

Jules:

QUOTES

“Scary and I go way back.”

“I was like the ravens, a prisoner of a destiny I didn’t know and couldn’t control.”

“I stepped towards the Grand Hall, with one last smile back at my friends. “She didn’t leave me.”” {YASS!!!}

“We don’t like him, do we?”…”I don’t think we do.”

“I know this is going to sound crazy, but when you’re a spy, your life isn’t defined by the lies you tell, but by the truths.”

“So the question is,” Bex said slowly, “how far are you willing to go?”  I looked at my three best friends in the world. “How far is there?” {To the ends of the earth!!}

“The operatives fully understood that the first step in Denial and Deception Operations is denial.  And it’s way easier to deny being involved in some rogue undercover operation f you’re wearing jammies.”  {Liz wears “jammies” to “jam” the security systems… lol…}

When Zach did something regular guys would rarely do… “admitted we were on the wrong path…”

“They made me.” {AAARGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! *rage* }

“I know too well how dangerous hope can be, how it grows and sometimes dies, taking it’s host with it.  It’s more powerful than anything Dr. Fibbs keeps in his labs, more precious than all the secrets in Sublevel Two.”

“Run.”

THOUGHTS

– How you know things are really bad… “He sounded angry and frantic and scared.  Joe Solomon was scared.”

– Bex’s dad taught her how to use Barbie as a weapon… now that I want to see!

– The dumbwaiter scene!!!  (reminds me of the dumbwaiter scene from Etiquette and Espionage, by Gail Carriger)

>>ALL THE REFERENCES TO FIRE!!!!!<<

– Again, I love how the weather plays a part in the narrative:

“Outside, the sky was a crisp, clear blue, but it felt like a storm was brewing inside our classroom.”

“The air around us was warmer; it was almost spring; and yet there were goosebumps on our arms.  It still felt a long,long way from summer.”

– Bubble Gum’s name is Walter!!

– This book causes a little anger when I read it, because I knowI know the things…

JB:

I think this book is such a turning point in the series, because we finally have some big questions answered, things are finally starting to make sense, but there are still so. many. unanswered. questions. Also, I totally agree with Jules’ spoiler above. I’ve been marking all those parts and each one makes me want to cry.

Macey: “I know fake love when I see it.” This makes me want to cry.

If possible, Joe Solomon had just gotten cooler. And hotter.

“Do any of you have a blowtorch?” Liz perked up as if she were about to say that yes, she did have a blowtorch in the back of her closet. “I’m afraid to know,” I said, holding out my hand to stop her.

“Look, they’re not technically closed—they’re just rigged to explode if anyone goes near them.” I love how chill Zach is about this.

“He’s a guy, Cam,” Macey pushed past me and led the way down the hall. “And a spy. He’s a spy guy. There’s always going to be something he’s not telling.”

“So he’s mysterious,” she said with a shrug. “Mysterious is sexy.

I didn’t know whether to hug him or hit him (a feeling that I frequently associate with Blackthorne Boys, to tell you the truth).

“Hello, sweetheart. Aren’t you going to introduce your little girlfriend to your mother?” OHEMGEE WHATTTTTTTTTT. AND she was a Gallagher Girl! *break my heart why don’t you, Ally Carter?*

Randoms:

-Blackthorne. Just. What?

-THE TRUTH SERUM IN THE APPLE. Guys, this kills me. I love it so much. Also this scene. Townsend: “Now, Rachel, don’t think of her as a pawn. It’s more like… what is it you Americans say… we dangled an apple out in front of Joe Solomon and—” Rachel: “The term is carrot and it doesn’t apply to teenage girls.” Townsend: “Oh is it? Maybe you use apples for something else.” I love that he totally busted them.

-Townsend. In general. Because he is hot. And hilarious. And he’s the uncle of Michael Townsend from The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (aka Ally Carter’s best friend)! >>>And also Zach’s dad, which I NEVER IN A MILLION BAJILLION YEARS saw coming.<<<

-Thinking Zach and Mr. Solomon were dead. I CAN’T I CAN’T.

-That ending KILLED me. Especially when I had to wait for OVER A YEAR for the fifth book.

Did you have any favorite quotes or scenes?

What do you think of Townsend??

GG4: Mad For Plaid!!

Mad About Plaid

Of all the wonderful things in the world, like shoes and cakes and blankets and chairs and skirts and stationary, when you make them plaid they just get a little more awesome!

Harkening back to the heritage tartans of Scotland, brought into fresh interpretations

How about nestling into a comfy plaid chair with a good book and a hot cuppa tea?!?   Did that book suddenly inspire you?  Better jot it down quick!  How ‘bout in a plaid notebook?

And aren’t these invitations adorable?

And a party always calls for some cupcakes, these cupcake liners are plaid-perfect!

You could one of those fabulous parties in one of these plaid-featuring outfits!!

Of course I always love some vintage, check out this marvelous vintage skirt by blogger Rachel-Marie Iwanyszyn.

You know the perfect shoes can make or break an outfit, how delightful are these stilettos?!?

And we can’t forget the guys!  Check out these snazzy ties from Forage Haberdashery.

Well, we hope your day was super fabulous!!

Happy Plaiding!

Week 4: Only The Good Spy Young

Gallagher Girl readathon logo hosted by thegirlsinplaidskirts.com

I can’t believe it’s already the fourth week!  Eep!

If you are just joining us, we Girls in Plaid are hosting a Gallagher Girls Series readathon and we’d love for you to be a part!  Even if you haven’t read the series, this is a great time to get into it!   Well, start at the beginning, of course!  Wouldn’t want you to miss the first three amazing books!

This week is Only The Good Spy Young

Keep your eyes open for more posts coming up!

Only The Good Spy Young - Ally Carter

Question of the week:

If you could pick the school colors what would they be?

And what would the uniforms be?

Gallagher Girl Readathon Schedule hosted by thegirlsinplaidskirts.com

GG3: A Birthday Celebration

It seems like forever ago that Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover came out.  But I can remember exactly the day because that just happened to be my 18th birthday! The three of us planned a girls’ trip to have a double celebration.

On the morning of, we rose bright and early to head to faithful B&N to retrieve our prize.

Ready for book 3!!

Ready for book 3!!

Prize in hand!

Prize in hand!

After lunch we had our first read-a-thon where we would only read one chapter at a time, and then all read the next chapter together.  Oh. My. Goodness.

I have never regretted being a fast reader my entire life, except for then.  I would finish first and then be just antsy waiting for Rae and JB to finish.  I had to get up and do something, I made the bed, I made rice crispy treats, I flopped on the chair and moaned!!  The anticipation was KILLING ME!!  We made our way through the book and, oh, it was so good!!  Still is!

We celebrated that night with birthday cupcakes and the cutest candle on the planet, and chocolate covered fortune cookies!

DSCN1423DSCN1458

What really topped off the day was that JB’s dad was in Seattle where Ally was doing a book signing and he went and stood in line for us and got her to sign a picture of us reading GG3, and made a video of her for us!

It was Awe.summ.!!

Ally Carter Gallagher Girls signing

Summer Reading recap

So you may remember that summer reading list I posted a few weeks ago… Well I’ve been working on it.  However it’s been a little harder than I thought.  I’ve been out of town a lot and I would put them on order.  They would get to the library, then I would run out of time before I would got back and I had to request them again!   And then I read Wish You Were Italian instead of Fool Me Twice.  They’re from the same collection so the covers are similar.  But WYWI was really good so I’m swapping it for FMT.

So here are the books I’ve gotten to so far!

(Click titles for links to goodreads summaries)

{CA = Content Advisory = Language, Sexual, Other}

My Faire Lady – Laura Wetterson

My Faire Lady coverCA: L- 3, S- 3, O-0

Overall Recommendation : 3

So the premise of the story is pretty cute and innocent, and you know it’s going to have it’s little adventures.  Rowena, aka Ro, is running from her broken heart, and lands in the welcoming arms of a Renaissance faire.  She’s looking for something to keep her hands busy and her mind off her cheating ex, and maybe a little fling thrown in for fun.  What she get is so much more than she expected or barganed for.

It’s hard to really get into the story and talk about it without spoiling the surprises!

There were a few loose ends that I would have liked to see tied, but the end wasn’t really the end, Wetterson left it open enough that this chapter of Ro’s life has enough closure, but the story keeps going.  Similarly, some of the characters I would have liked to see a little more of, but that’s just personal, IRL Ro wouldn’t have had much more interaction with them than what is written.

This book is a total bait-and-switch in the best way.  Up until about chapter 14 it was pretty much what, judging from the cover* and the premise, I thought it would be.  Cute, predictable, full of humor and charm.  And then along come chapter 15.  Oh my goodness you guys, things got real.  It was as if someone had turned the book on it’s end and shook all the feels all down to the bottom.  After setting everything up for the whole first portion of Ro’s summer, with about a week left of her time at the Faire, Wetterson brings it home, evoking all the feels, like not just the ones to do with the sweet guy, but the forgiveness ones and the friendship ones and the family ones, and yall.. I cried!!  Like, three times in the last 40 pages!

*I know we all say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but it’s like the guy we love to hate, it’s the rule we love to break.

Royally Lost – Angie Stanton

royally lost cover

CA: L- 3, S- 2, O-3

Overall Recommendation :2

All in all it’s pretty cute in an every girl’s fantasy kind of way. I mean who wouldn’t want to fall for a prince-in-hiding while on vacay?!?

About halfway through I was wishing he could have held onto his secret a little longer, that she could have fallen for him as an average guy.   Some of the situations were a bit cheesy and/or improbable, but adorable all the same.  Character-wise all the main players felt good interacted well with each other and the minor characters (which were just enough and well placed).

I’m rather a fan of the brother of the Becca (the MC), Darren.  They are comrades in rebellion, and although they constantly pick and tease, you can tell they actually care about each other.  After their mother’s death and being closed off by their father, they because each other’s solace and strength.

The relationship between Becca and Nikolai I feel developed nicely, not too fast, not boring, and without being too mushy. I really appreciated both of their personal sense of where their line is. There was kissing (of course) and spooning, and swimming, but nothing beyond that.  Both of them were very respectful of the other, and yes he’s a prince so he was trained that way, but he could have been “I’m free now, no boundaries!”

While I don’t recommend the scenario of swimming in your undies on a secluded beach, or really anywhere, a good point was made of the fact that her undies offered more coverage than her bikini would have.

As we may well suspect, there’s the problem of the ending, royal+commoner problem.  Stanton created really nice last chapter that is hopeful and happy. But I won’t give too much away 🙂

She is quite abrasive to her father and stepmother.  They patch things up in the end, but I don’t take kindly to disrespecting, and lying to, one’s parents.  And she did both often, and in very big ways.

Wish You Were Italian – Kristin Rae

Wish you were italian cover

CA: L- 1, S- 1, O-1

Overall Recommendation :3

Ah, tales of summer travel and romance, and how sometimes it’s better that things don’t go a planned.  Pippa started her summer trip to Italy headed to an elite art program, a journal with a list of challenges, and a heart full of wishes.  After ditching the art program (but keeping up the charade of being there) Pippa gets carried away, literally, by someone she wasn’t looking for, and puts her heart on the line for what she think she wants.  On the journey from unsure and haphazard, to still unsure but much more thoughtful of head and heart, Pippa finds fast friends, and that love and kindness are generously given in the ancient streets of Italy.

I was happy to see that the MC had an active hobby, photography, and that it actually was part of the story.  The fact that she lied to her parents ALL SUMMER was kind of a big deal, not a fan of that.  Because of that Pippa suffers some unfortunate consequences.

It’s full of adorable scenes, and a cute read, forgetting the totally unlikeliness of the entire story, but hey, a girl can dream!

Hope your summer is spectacular!

We’d love to have you join us in our Gallagher Girls Read-A-Thon!

Oh fathers, where art thou?

whos_your_daddy darth vader

(This doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the article, but… Star Wars!)

MC = main character

Direct quotes are credited in-text.

Warning: This post is a little longer and more “thinking intensive” than our usual 🙂

In light of recent Father’s Day we wanted to spotlight father characters.  However, after a little thought, we realized that there are very few books that highlight the father figure.  It seems all too common that the parents, although they play an important part in the character’s history and development, don’t usually play a large role in the “meat” of the story, or get much “page time”.  Not to mention they usually get a bad rap.  Being the curious mind that I am, I wanted to know more; Why do parents get so left out? Where are the awesome parents? Why do they get stereotyped? How important are the roles of the parents? Now, I am no scholar but I do have some thoughts.  So I did some searching, article reading, mental reviewing of books I’ve read, and discussing with other readers.  The articles I am pulling from are all well written and well sourced. After I read them I almost felt like not writing this, just quoting them and pointing over there and saying “Hey! Go read these!”  But then I thought, “No, I should do this.  I could use the practice in constructing my thoughts and building a cohesive puddle of ideas…” So here I go! 🙂

The focus of YA books are, of course, the young characters (the ones the intended readers can relate to) and their journey to manhood, true love, a better place, self-finding, or what have you.  This is the opportunity for the MC to learn great things. Unfortunately, achieving this seems to require putting the parents, and for the most part adults in general, in the back seat, in a bad light, or even fully out of the picture.  This issue is as old as the YA genre itself, which may be older than you think.

Novels for the young folks started becoming a “thing” in the mid 60s and into the 70’s. This coincides with the emergence of the famous/infamous “hippie” movement, which encouraged the independence of youth and the idea of rejecting expectations and creating your own identity and future.  Never mind that it turned into a giant bandwagon of lost, broke, hapless, non-individual individuals seeing life through rose-colored glasses, both literal and metaphorical.  From this era we get the still-popular The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, as well as Robert Lipsyte’s Contender.  These first books stemmed from classic narratives of the orphan triumphant, as seen in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) and countless fairytales, but with a new flavor of raw survival. The MC is not tied to a past, and is responsible for, and answers to, no one but himself.  Conflict lies not with adults and not really with the status quo, but rather with his peers, the other teens. (Just)

Following the conquering orphan came the sub-genre of “problem novels”.  In the late 70s, early 80s the inept, falling apart, greatly flawed, and irresponsible parents had their YA debut.   Similar to the way that the recent sub-genre of “sick lit” deals with the journey and challenges related to illness, in problem novels the “dramatic conflict occurs not in a vacant lot but in the home, around the dining table”, such as divorce, abuse, and neglect(Just). Mothers often take the fall for home issues, especially leaving, as the females can be pinned with the “emotionally unstable” tag.  Contributing to the stigma is the black cloud of “the evil stepmother” from tales of old.  However, fathers also have been colored a very dark shade of sad.  Tucked into many a page is a father bleary-eyed and hung over, stumbling and yelling and drunk, cold and oppressive, out of sight and out of touch, or simply missing in action.

Julie Just makes a great comparison in her article for The New York Times.

“However toned down, the hapless fictional parents of today aren’t necessarily more believable than the slightly scary figures of the classic problem novel. What they are is less consequential. In the transition from Ma in “A Place Apart” (Paula Fox, 1980) to the father in “Once Was Lost”(Sara Zarr, 2011), deferring to his exasperated 15-year-old daughter in the supermarket aisle, there’s a loss of stature and a lowering of stakes. Ma, a widow, is openly grieving and visibly poorer after the sale of the family home; she’s emotionally unreachable at times and unapologetic about it. By contrast, the father in “Once Was Lost” becomes somehow peripheral, his problems more muted and less interesting than his teenage daughter’s.”

Having a bit of history of parents if YA helps put some things into perspective, but it doesn’t really answer the question of why?  The easy answer: Parents are plot tools.  To have a good story every character must earn their page presence, be it by comic relief, confidant to the MC, foil to the protaganist…   So very often parents get pinned with the job of setting up the MC for a great story, and then are quietly tucked away until needed to bump the story along.  (Obviously, and thankfully!, there are exceptions.)

Parents, real and fictional, are a springboard for their children, who, in YA books, are the focus, and in the real world, are the MCs of their own story. There are two sides to this coin, parents helping the MC to achieve great things by supporting them and rallying behind them, and inversely, giving them a lower starting point and a harder journey by being abusive, absent, or even the active antagonist.  Undeniably, main characters with a troubled or complicated past offer opportunity for a highly interesting journey for the reader.  On the flipside, well constructed, positive parental figures, that don’t even have to be active in the story, can also shape great MCs who might still face great challenges and undergo trials and need to deal with big things and little things and make a great story!

Lorraine Franqui for Girls in Capes addresses the issue of YA fathers, specifically, becoming plot devices who typically fall into one of three categories: fallen hero, absentee enabler, and manipulative villain.  Example after example shows the father’s anger, or fears, or regrets, or absence, or death, setting the protagonist on their journey to whatever fueled by contempt, respect, or revenge.  While this isn’t totally a bad thing, it isn’t great either.  The father is bumped from his job of being an active and involved parent with a mature voice, to a building block of the back story, the whys and wherefores of the MC.

I feel that Franqui really puts a finger on the meat of the issue.

 “There are many types of fathers in the real world: great ones, mediocre ones and even bad ones. It’s not like there’s no variety in the representation of fathers in YA or that there’s a massive lack of really great ones, but the types are neatly defined categories and the representations aren’t always the most favorable. Not all fathers stay heroes in their children’s eyes, but YA should acknowledge fatherhood is a complex universe in itself and that parenting doesn’t come in a neatly defined and predetermined quantity of flavors. …[T]hey have a more central role in their teenaged children’s life than just inconvenient obstacles or occasional, highly limited motivators…”

The YA world isn’t just lacking good fathers, it’s lacking real fathers. Now, I know not all real fathers are good fathers, too many aren’t, but readers could benefit from seeing the MCs have relationships with their parents that is actually part of the story.  A relationship they can relate to their own lives.  Unfortunately, when you write ‘normal’ adults you toe the line of  “the dreaded territory of the boring adult concerns like paying bills, going to work, buying healthy groceries, getting enough exercise and do the laundry”, notes Lucy Silag from Book Country.  But is it possible to find a happy medium? Can someone write parents, married or single, who are sane, responsible, quirky, moody, people with decent fashion sense, but really bad jokes, that always get lost, are concerned with keeping a budget and scared of change, that are firm believers in ordering pizza on Fridays and encourage adventure and self-discovery, who are likable and relatable but can also enable the MC to face their challenges knowing they are not alone?

Some stories we read because all we want is to escape reality for a little while.  But some stories are read because we need the characters, and we need to see their struggles and how they survive, to see *that* they survive.  We read to see ourselves in these characters, and know that we can survive.

Do you have any books to recommend with great, or well written parents?

Want to share your thoughts?

From The New York Times, Sunday Book Review

The Parent Problem in Young Adult Lit

By Julie Just, July 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/books/review/Just-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

From the Book Country blog put out by Penguin Press

Young Adult Contemporary Guidepost #4: Parents in YA Fiction

By Lucy Silag, August 2013

http://blog.bookcountry.com/young-adult-contemporary-guidepost-4-adult-characters-in-ya-what-should-they-do/

From Girls in Capes blog

The Father Formula in Young Adult Literature

By  Lorraine Alcevedo Franqui, June 2013

http://girlsincapes.com/2013/06/14/ya-dads/