28 February 2011

Guest Post - Julie from My 5 Monkeys

While Lisa is out I wanted to talk about young adult novels and boarding schools and Parents because this seems to be a pet peeve of mine. It has grown slowly over reading many young adult books.

This seems to be a trend now with some of the books out there and many of them are paranormal issues in which a young girl has just realized something or her parents send her to a boarding school to learn more about her powers. Some examples are Fallen by Lauren Kate , Dark Elite by Chloe Neill , and Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. Another example is Simone Elkeles, Rules of Attraction.

I think that the Boarding school has to work with the story , and make sense. I think the best example of this Hex Hall. As coming as a mom, I feel that the relationships between the mom and child are short changed with the child being at Boarding school.

I understand that this is fiction , and that kids need to escape from life. I see that parents in young adult novels are non-exisistant or they help move the plot along like in Shiver/Linger.

I wanted to make an observation that goes along with the topic of parents, and schooling. Have you ever seen Hannah Montana or That’s so Raven ?? I have many times and the parents in these shows are funny , and move the plot along , and always at the end give good advice. These TV parents are really parenting the kids, and the parents are dumbed down.

I’m a parent and proud of my job in raising my 5 kids. Not everyone has money to send their kids to boarding school, but if its going to be used in plot, Please make the parent responsible and competent. Does anyone else have issues with Parents in books or Boarding schools ?? Am I the only one who feels this way ??

Thanks Lisa for having me here.

Julie, Thanks so much for taking the time to writing this guest post for me to share while I'm recovering. I really appreciate you doing this for me and reading and sharing your take on parents and boarding schools in books.

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  1. I gave you the One Lovely Blog award. Hop on over to my blog to get it =)

  2. I agree as far as the parents issue. Most of the boarding school based books shove the parents out of the way and that's that. However there are some where the parents are still around even if the kids are "away" at school. Like in Harry Potter - now Harry's Aunt and Uncle were not really around much, and in Vampire Academy - her parents showed up a lot towards the end.

  3. "I feel that the relationships between the mom and child are short changed with the child being at Boarding school."

    Exactly. This is my biggest problem with "boarding school" books as well. Especially since I feel that a lot of authors use the boarding school as a crutch of a plot device to get the parents out of the picture, so they can focus on their teenage character without having to worry about how the parents factor in. It's an interesting observation. Great guest post, ladies!

  4. Other than Harry Potter, I haven't yet read a boarding-school book. I know (I've heard) they're all in vogue now, but I have yet to actually read one. In developing my own story, I can definitely see the appeal. You want the kids to be independent and learning things on their own, but you don't want to make them all orphans. And what responsible parent would let their kids go off and risk their lives!?

    Well, if you need a quality example of parenting in dire circumstances, I'll point you toward Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. The parents find out/are informed that their children are wizards in book 2, and though they often feel uncomfortable and powerless with the fate of the world/universe on their son/daughter's shoulders, they give what support they can when they can. They're not dumbed down at all, and they handle everything realistically (well, as realistically as can be expected). In my opinion, they definitely deserve the Awesome Literary Parents Award.

  5. You know, I haven't read too many boarding school books, but I kind of hate absentee parents in books. Sometimes I feel like it's a cop-out to do away with the parents by having them work all the time or just be completely oblivious to the craziness surrounding their child. It's rare to actually read a YA story with parent(s) that are involved and I'd love to see more of that.


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