Today I want to talk about five little things that I love to see in books. Not big things like correct representation or specific tropes. Just little things that make my reading experience so much better and make my eyes light up whenever I encounter one of those things in books.
Great sibling or parent-child relationship
Something you unfortunately see a lot in MG and YA books, eh, even in adult books, is parents and children not getting along. It’s always one or other scenario of “It’s not a phase, mum!” and seriously, it’s been kinda annoying me. Of course, it’s easy to go on an epic adventure when you have neglectful parents who don’t care where you’re at or don’t have parents at all.
That’s why I really love books where Parent-child relationships are done well. Where parents are the one looking after their kids and children don’t have to shoulder everything themselves. I love it when there is understanding and support, when there is trust and boundries and just all the good stuff. Same things goes for great sibling relationships. It doesn’t have to be all hijinks and pranks and tattling. It doesn’t even have to be all sunshine and rainbows. Just give me some siblings that understand each other and are there for each other and I’m happy.
Anybody can play video games or read or play football. And while that is good and healthy (mostly), I’m just a sucker for characters that have some kind of “weird” hobby. Scouring yard sales for special patterned t-shirts to make funky lampshades? Check. Collecting jellybeans to make portraits of dead presidents? Check. Paint murals with your toes? Double-check!
I love characters that are unique in their interests and that give me new creative ideas of my own. It’s just so much fun to follow them while they’re doing something that they love, no matter how strange or weird it is.
Kids being kids
Sometimes, the world is not a great place. It’s scary and living is confusing and can be quite hard. We all know it. And while I’m all for preparing your kid for the world out there, my opinion is that you should let kids be kids. Let them do kids stuff and have kids hobbies and play with friends and don’t let them have to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Let them be kids and not responsible for younger siblings 24/7 or having to hold a job to support the family or taking care of overworked/sick/alcoholic parents. Let them have dreams of their own and not having to worry about where their next meal comes from. I love kids in books that can just be kids.
Look, it doesn’t have to be anything exotic like a crododile or a pet sphinx. (Although a character in one of my favourite books has a pet mammoth which is obviously just the coolest and cuddliest thing ever.) Just give me all the animals. Give me grumpy cats and hyperactive dogs and strangely intelligent chinchillas and foulmouthed birds and, and…EVERYTHING.
Characters that are interested in the world around them
I’m just a sucker for those, okay? I love characters that are interested in how the world around them works, probably, because I am the same way. Let it be an interest in physics or how the human body works or plants or insects or international shipping routes. Let it be an interest in how logistics in Antarctica work or astronomie or old legends or culture or animals. I love characters that show interest in that. Not only does it often give characters more depth, it also gives me more insight into the world around me and makes my heart beat faster at a new nugget of information that I have never known before.
What little things do you like to see in the books you read?