I have a confession to make: I love reading children's books. There, I said it! And you know what? I like being the only one in on the secret.
When I tell people that I read books meant for kids, they always look taken aback by my admission…but why? Children's and young adult books are just as complex, thought-provoking, and enjoyable as there older counterparts. So why is it looked down on for an adult to read them?
Middle grade and young adult titles are chock full of entertaining characters who get themselves into and out of some pretty sticky situations. They're also full of interesting worlds, philosophies on life, and wisdom from the ages…
I mean, come on – who could resist reading a book with dragons in it?
My love for children's and young adult literature started when I was just a kid myself. My first foray into reading was the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of books. I would spend hours on end going from page to page, making different choices, and seeing how my story changed.
Some of the adventures were terrifying, and some were heart-wrenching. All were…addictive.
Once I got hooked on those books, it didn't take long to find out about one of my most beloved series ever: The Cave of Time. I've read it so many times; I knew the story forwards and backward. But that didn't stop me from opening up the book again and again just to see what choice I would make when faced with one of the characters' dangerous dilemmas.
When you ask me why I still read children's books, here are my top reasons why:
#1 The"bad guys aren't so bad at all."
In a lot of novels, there are two sides to the conflict that arise. One of them is good, and one of them is bad – end of story. In children's titles, though, I often find myself siding with the "villain" more often than not. This happens for a couple of reasons, but one is because this type of character development is true to life.
I'm not saying that everyone can be reformed and redeemed – some people are just rotten through and through, which makes them fascinating reads. I'm saying there's no such thing as a "bad guy." Even the antagonists have their reasons for acting the way that they do, and it's usually something pretty relatable to us adults:
What about you – don't you feel like we could all learn something from our protagonists' enemies?
#2 The main character is relatable
I like being able to see the world through the eyes of someone younger than me, and I feel like a lot of other people do too.
Who wouldn't want to talk to animals or have the ability to fly – when you read a children's book, you can live out these adventures without fear or guilt.
I love fantasy stories, but most adult fantasy novels lack the whimsy of their younger counterparts, and that's why we reach for them when we need something to escape to when dealing with not-so-great aspects in our own lives. If you want a good dose of fantasy/action with likable characters and a great plot, then children's fantasy books are the way to go.
#4 They are short and sweet
A lot of people these days have pretty busy lives. When they want to read, they only have time for a few chapters before bed – or they can't finish it at all. You don't have to worry about that with children's and young adult literature – they are pretty quick reads. In fact, some of the best ones I've read have been under 200 pages (I know! The tragedy!)
#5 They have extraordinary worlds to live in
When I sit down with one of my children's books, it feels like I just stepped into another world.
Being able to see the world through a child's eyes again makes me feel young at heart.
#6 They are beautiful
Some of the most beautiful books I've ever read were for kids and young adults. They are very well designed, with beautiful artwork that will bring your imagination to life.
Children's and young adult literature is some of the best out there, which is why we can't stop loving it – even when we grow up.
Do you still read children's literature? Do you have a favorite series from when you were younger that you still read?
Children's stories are just so magical and nostalgic. I absolutely love it!