NOTE: I am looking for reader feedback. The three best responses will win copies of Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother.
Fifteen-year-old Matt (names been changed to protect me from angry family members) ramped his skateboard off the roof of his house. "It's his ADD," the parents said. "We can't trust him to go down the block to the park on his bike. We know he'll do something stupid."
Just another three years and that 15-year-old will be on his own. Maybe at college. Maybe at his job. What will those parents do then? Spy on him? Follow him around campus? Ask his boss if he's behaving? In my opinion, it's the desperation to experience life that made him do something so crazy. If everyone wasn't breathing down his neck—don't do this, don't do that, don't get dirty, don't be dangerous and wild and free, and you can't do anything worthwhile because you are just a kid—he wouldn't feel the need to almost kill himself just to feel alive.
I may be 34, but my rebellious teenage angst still motivates much of my life philosophy. Even though I am a parent, I don't believe that one person can ever control another. Parents / teachers / authority figures who try to control only destroy the soul. And I believe it is wrong, wrong, wrong for schools to subjugate students into mindless, empty robots. That's why I home school my kids.
Truth is I don't really feel like I've changed since my teenage years. However, today it's not my parents & teachers but rather responsibility, society, & money that keep me from true freedom. Now I have three little persons who depend on me. Mouths to feed and rent to pay.
I enjoyed Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother. A friend of mine complained that it did not accurately portray the teenage mindset. But what really is the teenage mindset? How do you write it? How do see the world through the eyes of a teenager?
I am looking for reader feedback. I want to hear some thoughts from teenagers and adults alike. As stated above, the three best responses will win a copy of Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother.
Some possible questions to answer:
What makes teenagers different from adults?
What makes them similar?
What motivate(s/d) you?
If you are an adult, writing YA books, how do you accurately portray your characters?
If you are a teenager, what is it that you yearn for?
What books best portray teenagers today?