Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Talk: Rereading childhood favorites




How often do you reread books?


I never used to be a re-reader. I had a couple of books that I'd read parts of over and over again, but I never really was into reading all of my favorite series over again. When a new book came out I'd just hope I remembered the old stuff or that it would come back to me as I read the new book. I just felt like there were so many new books to read that I never wanted to spend time on old favorites.

But there were still times when I just really needed a familiar friend. I re-read parts of my favorite books when I'm upset, or when I've read a bunch of mediocre or un-enjoyable books in a row.

Re-reading Tamora Pierce

Recently, I've started re-reading some of my favorite books from when I was younger and seeing if I still feel the same way about them. Tamora Pierce was a huge favorite of mine in 5th grade and middle school, so I started rereading her Wild Magic series.

When I was little, I hadn't read that many fantasy books and I was captivated by all the magical creatures, knights in shining armor, and political intrigue. I really liked all the strong and fierce women in this world, but I don't think I consciously appreciated how truly fierce and amazing they are. Now that I'm older and realize how truly rare it is to have complex and independent women featured in fantasy novels, I'm blown away by how 

It's not just the strong women that makes these books unique. They are very diverse in terms of socio-political background of the characters, the colors of their skin, and their cultures. Tortall is not a world that borrows from stereotypical white medieval society, "exotic and magical" Asian-inspired people, and nomadic, dark-skinned Arab-inspired cultures. There are people from every walk of life, and none of them are reduced to a stereotype. I definitely did not pick up on that as a kid.

Some of the storylines seem really predictable now that I've read a lot of fantasy books, but it's a nice sort of familiar. I really like the way the books follow a familiar pattern because it's fun to remember how surprised and excited I was by the same thing when I was little and didn't know what to expect.

Re-reading these Tamora Pierce books has made me realize how much fun re-reading is, and it's definitely something I'm going to do more in the future!

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