Many of my childhood days were spent curled up with a book.
I was the kid in first grade who was excited when the teacher told us to read quietly at our desks. I would stay up hours past my bedtime, reading by the light in my closet. By the time I was in fourth grade I felt like I had read every book worth reading in my school library.
Though I enjoyed reading books about history and science, fictional stories were my favorites.
Call me a nerd if you want. Trust me, I accepted that fact a long time ago.
I have no regrets. I learned so much from those books. The stories provided me with the opportunity to jump into another world. The characters I read about became my friends.
Some of my favorite series to read include “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Nancy Drew,” “Lord of the Rings,” the “Redwall” saga and, of course, “Harry Potter.”
Thankfully, many of these stories and their characters are still popular today.
When I see the some of the books popular with today’s youth and young adults I feel a little concerned. Granted, there are several newer series worth reading, such as “The Hunger Games” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” But when I see books like “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the “Twilight” saga at the top of the best-seller lists I feel slightly sick to my stomach.
One of the many reasons these stories disturb me is because of the morals, traits and actions displayed by the main characters. Or should I say, “lack thereof?” Characters like Bella Swan and Anastasia Steele don’t present anything worth looking up to, and the fact that their stories are so popular scares me.
But there is still hope for the fiction world. Some of the most popular characters stood the test of time, and they remain my favorites. I learned valuable lessons from several of these characters (to name but a few).
Harry Potter will always be a hero. Always. He was willing to sacrifice everything to save the people he cared about.
Along those lines, Hermione Granger taught me that intelligence and loyalty are found in true beauty.
Harry, Ron and Hermione all taught me the right cause is worth fighting for.
Elizabeth Bennett taught me romance never turns out to be what we expect. She also taught me that sometimes it’s better to go against the norm, especially when it seems everyone else has lost their minds.
Frodo Baggins showed me the power of determination. Though the rest of the world saw him as small and insignificant, he offered to do the impossible. Even when all the odds were against him, he kept pressing on.
Lucy Pevensie taught me about the power of faith. Faith led her into Narnia and allowed her to see Aslan when no one else could.
I still look up to these imaginary characters when I struggle with real-world problems. I hope everyone can find someone (real or fictional) to be a positive influence on their life.
To all you prospective authors out there: Please give me a fictional character worth looking up to.