Let’s talk about a fascinating aspect of literature that we often overlook – the mystical themes that run through Young Adult fiction.
First and foremost, we cannot begin this discussion without mentioning the iconic Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. These seven books are the perfect blend of adventure, myth, and mysticism. And oh, how wonderfully they’ve stood the test of time!
Today, we’re headed deep into the riveting world of Young Adult fiction. And not just any YA fiction, but those extraordinary tales that invite us on mystical journeys of self-discovery.
The first port of call? The magnificent world of C.S. Lewis and his classic series, The Chronicles of Narnia. With its captivating blend of adventure and allegory, Lewis’s work stands as a timeless masterpiece in YA literature.
Born in 1898, C.S. Lewis was a British author and lay theologian, renowned for his writings in both fiction and Christian apologetics. Though he wrestled with his faith in his early life, he eventually embraced Christianity, a journey reflected in his writings.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan, the majestic lion, serves as a symbol of Christ. He sacrifices himself for Edmund, a narrative that mirrors Jesus’s sacrifice for humanity. The subsequent resurrection of Aslan parallels the Christian belief in resurrection, giving readers a unique window into Christian theology.
But C.S. Lewis isn’t the only one exploring mystical themes in YA fiction. Flash forward to the present day, and we find the likes of Lois Lowry and her Newbery Medal-winning novel, The Giver.
In The Giver, Lowry imagines a seemingly utopian society where uniformity is paramount, and individuality is suppressed. However, as the protagonist Jonas receives memories of the world before “Sameness,” he comes to realize the importance of individual human experiences. Lowry presents a world that asks us to explore the nature of reality, selfhood, and even the existence of a higher power.
Another recent entrant into the mystical YA scene is Roshani Chokshi with The Star-Touched Queen. This novel uses Hindu mythology as its mystical backbone, transporting readers into a world of star-crossed love and destiny.
The mystical themes in these stories do more than just contribute to the plot. They trigger thought-provoking dialogues about spirituality, giving young adults space to formulate their own beliefs. They touch upon complex notions of God, Jesus, and even elements of Eastern spirituality, all while keeping readers enthralled with their imaginative narratives.
Remember that our journey through the mystical realms of YA fiction isn’t just about experiencing fantastic tales. It’s also about introspection and understanding the unseen. It’s about discovering the spiritual threads that connect us all, regardless of our faith.
Next time you pick up a YA novel, keep an eye out for these mystical elements. They add a layer of depth and meaning to the story that transcends the confines of the plot.
As C.S. Lewis himself said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” So here’s to finding those tales that resonate on a deeper level, that stimulate our minds, and awaken our spirits!
Until next time, happy reading!