Warms my heart.
I haven’t seen the WTWTA movie yet (can’t wait. And I want to see to CLOUDY & A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS too. And I never go to children’s movies). But I think this is an interesting short review even though I got sort of lost in the argument:
But this isn’t a coming–of-age movie. In the final scene, it’s joyously unclear whether Max has learned anything from his adventure. One thing that is clear is that, whether scary or sad or belligerent, children should see this movie if for no other reason than as an antidote to movies made by men who want them to grow up.
One reason I think I love YA books so much is that I truly love coming-of-age stories. But I’m interested in the idea that stories about younger kids maybe shouldn’t all be about growing up, but about simply being the age that they portray. You know, the Ramona books are always my gold standard for anything, but I’m now wondering if this is one reason why.
Actually, even in a lot of the YA I love, it sometimes bothers me that the teenagers are like little adults (I’m thinking of Sarah Dessen’s protagonists here, but this is something that bugs me all the time). They have adolescent lives — particularly, they’re under their parents’ control in certain respects — but they have a level of emotional maturity that some of us… lacked. Not that they don’t make mistakes, but they aren’t particularly adolescent mistakes. I’ve been reading so much lately about adults who read YA (like me!), and I wonder how much of this is driven by YA that isn’t really about adolescence at all, except as a metaphor.