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  1. #1
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    Why should teenagers read fantasy?

    So, we are having a reading awareness day on Thursday when we try to get our students to appreciate books more than they (apparently) do now. I have been given the task of interesting them in fantasy.

    I am to do a 20 minute speech/presentation on fantasy literature and why they should read more of it and, well, I got a bit scared. I have a knack for freestyling lessons and generally do a pretty good job of teaching but now, this might be the only shot Ive got at introducing many of them to fantasy literature and I really dont want to screw it up.

    My idea was to do a prezi and start out with a movie clip, something from e.g. Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, and then talk about fantasy and finishing off with book recommendations.

    But what should I talk about (i.e. the history of fantasy or the social implications of fantasy) and which books should I recommend? And how do I get these kids interested in reading in the competition of video games, social medias and TV?

    The kids are 14-15 years old and all except two have seen at least one Harry Potter-movie.

  2. #2
    They should read fantasy because of myriad of some very obvious reasons. Fantasy can expose them to history,religion, philosophy,geography,different cultures etc. Rationalizing it to Kids is a lot tougher.

    I think the best way to go about it is ask what interests kids most these days?

    Video-Games: You can take an example of certain popular video-game lets say Assassin's Creed. An direct them to fantasy books dealing with medieval era themes such as crusades, assassins secret societies etc.

    T.V. and Movies: GoT - You can talk about how War of Roses and how closely it resonates with what they have seen in the T.V. series. With Lotr you can talk bout the author Tolkien a bit and may be initiate a discussion about were Orcs really evil or they were just following someone who was not hunting them actively. You can talk about Sauron and iother tyrants such as Hitler and Stalin.

  3. #3
    They should read fantasy because of myriad of some very obvious reasons. Fantasy can expose them to history,religion, philosophy,geography,different cultures etc. Rationalizing it to Kids is a lot tougher.

    I think the best way to go about it is ask what interests kids most these days?

    Video-Games: You can take an example of certain popular video-game lets say Assassin's Creed. An direct them to fantasy books dealing with medieval era themes such as crusades, assassins, secret societies etc.

    T.V. and Movies: GoT - You can talk about how War of Roses and how closely it resonates with what they have seen in the T.V. series. With Lotr you can talk bout the author Tolkien a bit and may be initiate a discussion about were Orcs really evil or they were just following someone who was not hunting them actively. You can talk about Sauron and other tyrants such as Hitler and Stalin.

  4. #4
    Registered User oceanworld's Avatar
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    Cool Reading Fantasy

    Reading fantasy is great, I love reading fantasy. Fantasy novels are the best way to nowadays. I mean just look at all these TV shows out there that are fantasy, its in right now. Its a great way to get out of this world and into another world, a world that is different then here.

  5. #5
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Because it's reading.

    Seriously, that's the only thing that should matter. What they read largely doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    There is no tomorrow RedMage's Avatar
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    People should read fantasy (and scifi and mystery and spy stories and all the others) because they want something to happen. To them. For them.

    Everyone feels this way (I think!!! ) but teenagers especially. As a teenager I remember thinking I lived a horribly dull and boring, drab little life. Nothing had ever happened to me and nothing ever would. That was the life I thought I lived. The life I wanted to live had high speed car and spaceship chases, girls falling over the edge of buildings and me leaping off after them, me walking into a store and seeing a bunch of my friends being held at gunpoint or on the floor and me saving them with magic or superpowers or just being brave and attacking the gunman or, not even attacking, but just stepping in front of that gun. That was the life I wanted when I was a teenager. To be cool and awesome and to live all those ideals we humans hold to but rarely, if ever, get to truly show. And, in moments of reflection on these dreams of the life I wanted, when I thought of the personal consequences of that kind of life or how the world would be if those things really happened, I was always saying "to Hell with the consequences!" The consequences are part of what I wanted too.

    That's why teens should read fantasy (and therefore all books, especially genre). Because when they read, they can have what they want. They can be who they want. Video games? Movies? There are only so many of them. Yes, there are only so many books as well but there are thousands upon thousands more books than video games or movies. Social media? Isn't that just a continuance of your boring life? I mean, you sitting at home or staring at your phone, laptop, whathaveyou, looking at somebody else's status update of the amazing thing they are doing??

    They're teenagers. Their parents are controlling everything they do and ruining their lives. You want adventure and excitement? You wish you had cool abilities/superpowers/gadgets? You dream your friends would be as good of friends to you as you are to them and that you would stick together forever and that it was just you and them against the world? Here, read this book, Orphans of Chaos by John C. Wright. I guarantee you, by the end you will be saying "Holy crap! What just happened? ...And how did I get into this body and...where is my aviatrix cap??"

    That, my friend, is why teenagers should read fantasy.

  7. #7
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    Fantasy can tell virtually any sort of story, from something like Harry Potter to ASOIAF OR LOTR. It can be a genre especially relevant to teens because many (though certainly not all) of the stories begin with a teenager in average circumstances who goes on to a wonderful journey and/or discovery. Some of the best stories are both uniquely imaginative, and at the same time are able to shine a light on some of the most important things that make us human, and cause us to consider and question our beliefs and the world around us.

  8. #8
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    I have a couple reasons for reading fantasy.

    1. Where else can you read about a guy in a future society who gets transported to a planet where he can do magic and kick butt all while people are watching him on tv? (or insert other awesomely cool scene that only fantasy can deliver like pretty much anything from Malazan)

    2. Swords, halberds, cuirasses, etc. They're just cool.

    3. I really think it's a place to delve into themes and ideas that are just harder to do in any other genre. History has happened, so you're at least somewhat constrained and anything in our world is constrained by the laws we know (like gravity). You can really get into themes where people have to deal with different races of people, monsters, anything and all at the same time.

    4. No one's afraid to have multi-volume series without a nice wrapped-up ending for each book. You can really go deep, deeper than other genres and fantasy and science fiction do this all the time. Not only that, but authors seem to be more willing to do so instead of just writing for mass-appeal and simplicity.

  9. #9
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    5. Oh, for teens, um ... your parents don't want you to read sff.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your input everyone! I used a little bit of everyone's advice and told the kids a little bit of everything fantasy.

    I think I got a pretty got presentation out there; a couple of students, who have never finished book before, came up asking for where to begin and how to start.

    So thanks again, all of you!

  11. #11
    There is no tomorrow RedMage's Avatar
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    Fantastic imaster! Well done!

  12. #12
    Registered User oceanworld's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Agree

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage View Post
    People should read fantasy (and scifi and mystery and spy stories and all the others) because they want something to happen. To them. For them.

    Everyone feels this way (I think!!! ) but teenagers especially. As a teenager I remember thinking I lived a horribly dull and boring, drab little life. Nothing had ever happened to me and nothing ever would. That was the life I thought I lived. The life I wanted to live had high speed car and spaceship chases, girls falling over the edge of buildings and me leaping off after them, me walking into a store and seeing a bunch of my friends being held at gunpoint or on the floor and me saving them with magic or superpowers or just being brave and attacking the gunman or, not even attacking, but just stepping in front of that gun. That was the life I wanted when I was a teenager. To be cool and awesome and to live all those ideals we humans hold to but rarely, if ever, get to truly show. And, in moments of reflection on these dreams of the life I wanted, when I thought of the personal consequences of that kind of life or how the world would be if those things really happened, I was always saying "to Hell with the consequences!" The consequences are part of what I wanted too.

    That's why teens should read fantasy (and therefore all books, especially genre). Because when they read, they can have what they want. They can be who they want. Video games? Movies? There are only so many of them. Yes, there are only so many books as well but there are thousands upon thousands more books than video games or movies. Social media? Isn't that just a continuance of your boring life? I mean, you sitting at home or staring at your phone, laptop, whathaveyou, looking at somebody else's status update of the amazing thing they are doing??

    They're teenagers. Their parents are controlling everything they do and ruining their lives. You want adventure and excitement? You wish you had cool abilities/superpowers/gadgets? You dream your friends would be as good of friends to you as you are to them and that you would stick together forever and that it was just you and them against the world? Here, read this book, Orphans of Chaos by John C. Wright. I guarantee you, by the end you will be saying "Holy crap! What just happened? ...And how did I get into this body and...where is my aviatrix cap??"

    That, my friend, is why teenagers should read fantasy.
    Agree with you, you are so right.

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