Growing Pains

Elder on inline skatesSummer empties into Autumn this week. Adolescence brings a kind of autumn, too, when we wave goodbye to the summer of childhood and face/dive/slink into being a teen. Some books convey this elusive autumnal tone better than others. Several young adult novels I’ve read recently do it magnificently, namely, Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente.

As I mention in my review of Bitterblue,  growing pains stretch Queen Bitterblue until finally she can encompass even her own broken heart. Valente’s  hero, September, has her own plethora of doubts and growing pains along the way as she circumnavigates Fairyland. Bitterblue and September would have been fast friends and allies. They deal with what they’re dealt, even as they grieve what they must leave, particularly their old, simpler ways of seeing the world. As we go into the autumnal season of Change, may each of us do the same.

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