young adult books

Books are Magical

Adults are reading Young Adult (YA) literature. Yeah, adult adults — grown people with jobs, who pay their own bills, chat about interest rates on mortgages, or maybe even have young adult children themselves. Not only are they reading it, they also make up most of YA literature’s readership. A 2012 Publishers Weekly survey found that 55% of YA readers are adults, 28% of which were in the age range of 30 to 44. Even if you haven’t read a YA book, you have most likely been exposed to YA media. Don’t tell me you don’t know about our favorite sparkling vampire, Edward Cullen, from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. Or you haven’t seen Katniss Everdeen volunteer as tribute at the reaping in Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. And let’s be honest with ourselves, you know you bawled your eyes out in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. These are all YA books. YA books are emerging as leading profit makers in both the media and publishing industries. Why, you ask? Because these stories, no matter how fantastical, are tackling diverse themes — like friendship, identity, discrimination, politics, family, love, good vs evil, death … you name it. YA is just straight up relatable. We’ve all been young. We’ve all faced adversities in this life. And we’ve all sought meaning in the inevitable ticking of time. The moment is here. Crawl out of your hideouts, together we can break down the societal stigma surrounding adults who read YA. Join me in the Forever Young (Adult) Book Club, held every third Saturday from 11 AM to 12 PM starting March 26 at Lexington Main Library for not only a pleasurable read but also a lively discussion on topics that don’t only tackle what it means to be young, but what it means to be alive. Looking for something new or different to read? Our knowledgeable staff is happy to provide personalized reading recommendations. Simply fill out the interactive form at What Should I Read Next? And don’t forget to check out NextReads to get reading recommendations delivered straight to your inbox based on subjects you’re interested — no matter the label of age.

Unleash the magic — open a book and make today extraordinary. September 25 is National Open the Magic Day. After discovering this celebration, I did a little digging because it reminded me of unicorns. My five-year-old daughter is rather obsessed with them.

I believe picture books help kids understand the tender moments of failure, success, differences, bravery and love. Every kid deserves to find a book that will lead them to a confetti moment. Reading aloud should never stop. Books bring hope and love into the hearts of humans. Books connect us together which is the greatest gift we can give.

Honestly, I can’t blame her because I was too at her age. My fascination of the mythological creatures and their magic continued for years as I enjoyed reading about the Sweet Valley Twins and their unicorn club.

My daughter likes to ask, Mommy, is magic real?” And I tell her, “Absolutely, let me show you.” So, I take her little hand as we walk into the library. There’s a slight change in the air — everything looks and feels ethereal, it’s an enchanting atmosphere that never gets old. As we walk towards the picture books with a quick wink, I whisper to Scarlett, “This is where the magic happens.” Books are truly magical. They can teach us, heal us, inform us, take us on an adventure or a journey through time. Working at the library has been a great use of my book obsessed brain and looking at gorgeous covers soothes my soul.

Many adults say they don’t have time to read. Some just admit they don’t like to read anymore. Others stopped because they realized that once they completed a certain reading level, the pages were crammed with words and the pictures had vanished. Poof, no pictures, all words — BORING.

If you’re among that last group, hopefully this post will inspire you to start reading again. Did you know that they make picture books for adults? Unlike the mythical unicorn, picture books for adults do exist — and there are actually all kinds covering different topics.

You can find illustrations and photos in graphic novels, travel, recipe, art, and comic books — books about DIY, design, movies, music, fashion — and that’s just off the top of my head. So, what are you waiting for? The library’s open and full of great (picture) books for all ages.

Open the Magic Day is also a reminder to thank the parents and teachers who do everything they can to help children become who they’re meant to be. Every day they work together to give children the gift of literacy. Their gift also helps to build a safe place for every child to feel loved.

The History Behind Open the Magic Day

In 2021, Courtney Hinshaw, founder of Ramona Recommends, created National Open the Magic Day to encourage parents, teachers and students to find their confetti moments all around them. She also wanted to give back to the community and share her love of picture books with anyone who loves books. In third grade, Hinshaw was diagnosed with dyslexia and an auditory processing disorder. She grew up a struggling reader but loved books. Because of her parents, teachers — and her perseverance, she became a reader. There isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t think about that little girl in fifth grade trying to read.

How to Observe #OpenTheMagicDay

On September 25 and every day after, take time to Open the Magic. There are so many ways to bring the gift of reading and enjoy those confetti moment. Share your celebration using #OpenTheMagicDay on social media. Never give up on students. Every single one has magic in their hearts. Be the teacher or parent who says, “Open the Magic.”

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