Monday, 28 April 2014

St George's Day - 23rd April - Children's story

In England on 23rd April it is St George's day.

Flag of England

Unfortunately it is not as well celebrated as many other countries national day.

St. George is the patron saint of England. The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. There are many versions of story of St George slaying the dragon, but most agree on the following:
  1. A town was terrorised by a dragon.
  2. A young princess was offered to the dragon
  3. When George heard about this he rode into the village
  4. George slayed the dragon and rescued the princess
Sadly neither my son or daughter celebrated St George at school or nursery.  I told them both the legend.  I managed to find a children's cartoon on YouTube which my 3 year old son loved.  I think it is a great shame it is not celebrated more.  I think more English people celebrate St Patricks day than St George!!!

My children have asked me to write a story for St George's day. We've decided to have a twist in our tale and make George a girl called Georgina.  I am finding it a little tricky as I'm writing a rhyming story and not much seems to rhyme with words like Dragon, Castle, Prince or George!!!

I'm going to work on it in the week. For now here's a small snippet -

Several people began to scream and rush about
It was time to tell the King & Queen without a doubt
They rushed to the castle & banged on the door
"Whatever is the matter? Has someone broken the law."

Little Luke explained about finding the dragon
just as his uncle Jim arrived on his wagon.
"The dragon is coming. Everyone get in the castle."
They all flooded in including the postman and his parcel.

The door was locked & everyone sighed
Until they saw the dragon approaching & were horrified.
As he stomped through the town fire streamed from his jaw,
His stomach rumbled and he let out a roar.

I'm thinking of emailing the school and asking if St Georges day can be celebrated next year.  It doesn't have to be anything time consuming. The small children could easily make a flag & maybe a story could be read in class or assembly. The school do celebrate other days e.g. - Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

I think we should all be a little prouder of our country and St Georges day is the perfect time to be able to demonstrate it. 

When I've finished the story I'll share.

Below are a few images associated with England I thought I'd post -

Fish and Chips
The London EyeBlackpool Tower

Monday, 21 April 2014

What does YA mean to you?

YA in book terms means young adult and suggests a genre/age bracket.

However recently I've seen various articles and posts about what YA actually means.  I think the genre of New Adult has further confused some people about the age certain books are aimed at.

Young adult in most stores relates to the 13-18 year old market but I read one article that said recent studies show that 55% of young adult fiction is purchased by readers over 18 years of age.

Another article said that the age bracket needs to be redefined.  Separated with possible age classifications printed on novels. Teen fiction could be 10-15 year olds and Young Adult fiction 16-25 year olds.

When I wrote my book The Awakening I was hoping both teens and adults would like it in the same way adults read and loved Twilight and Harry Potter.  Both of these books were primarily aimed at teens but had a crossover appeal. 

I wrote The Awakening with young adults in mind although my main character Lauren is 20. One reader did suggest she may be too old for teens.  However so far no one else has raised this issue.  I deliberately chose to make Lauren 20 as it always frustrated me in YA novels that 16 and 17 year olds skip school, drive, can afford cars and are out all night with no parents seeming to notice (bad parenting ha ha!!!).  I did deliberate making Lauren 17 but decided against it.

Whilst writing I did feel conflicted about the use of swear words especially as Lauren is 20.  I did include a few swear words as in certain arguments/situations in the book they seemed appropriate but I then removed them worried it maybe inappropriate for young teens.  I am in the middle of writing book number 2 and am still unsure about the use of swear words and whether it is suitable in YA books.  Most teens now a days swear but teens also age and develop differently and there's not a one size fist all option.

What are your thoughts?

Swearing in YA?

Are you an adult that reads and enjoys YA books?

I'm interested in your thoughts.


Emma x