It’s always incredibly hard trying to tease out only one or two authors when we are blessed with so many amazing writers in this beautiful small country of ours but, if I think about it, all the writers I really admire have one very important thing in common: they all write books with a warm humanity at their core.
What do I mean by this? I guess I mean that whatever they write – even if the actual story is scary or funny or violent or heart-breakingly sad – the underlying message is about the need to champion and protect everyone’s basic human rights – and to act from a place of love, not greed, or fear, or ignorance, or hate. Maurice Gee does this, as do Sherryl Jordan, Anna Mackenzie and Fleur Beale (just to name a few!)
I like books that have something to say about the world we live in – books that aren’t afraid to have an opinion, even if it’s one I don’t agree with! How about the next time you pick up a YA novel you read it with these thoughts in mind: what is the author really trying to say? How does the theme reflect what’s going on today? What ideas could I take away from this and action in my own world? Give it a go!
- Mandy Hager is an award-winning writer and educator based in Wellington. She is the author of Smashed and the brilliant Blood of the Lamb series.
- Read an interview with Mandy on The Pulse