Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School: Why we are who we are.

Hmm, back to school time.  My favorite time of year as a parent.  I’ll even put it out there that I actually kinda liked it as a kid, too.  I know.  NERD ALERT! as my son would say.

But I will say as much as I enjoyed school and enjoy the time my kids are in school, I’ve never actually had any of my YA characters IN school.  And this is especially true in RENEGADE where school (as we know it, anyway) doesn’t exist at all. 

And even though we never see her actually in “school”, or doing any of the normal school things someone would do in a non-dystopian setting, Evelyn’s education is a HUGE plot point in the story (as it is in almost every YA.  Even if it doesn’t seem like it), and makes her who she is, despite the fact she doesn’t even realize every decision she makes is completely dependant on that education.  Even as twisted and warped as that education was…

But…isn’t that the way it is for all of us?  The teenage years are the years each person really forms who he or she is. It’s pretty much the glue that will bond us on our life path. And we spend the majority of the days in those years in school.  So is it really that surprising that school and our experiences in school shape who we are and what decisions (good or bad) we make in the future.

J.A. Souders is the author of RENEGADE a YA dystopian that takes place in an underwater utopian society, coming Fall 2012 from Tor Teen.  For more information visit her blog or website.


  1. Education, or lack thereof, definitely shapes us. I'm also lucky in DESTINED that Psyche isn't confined by a school setting and has her days completely free for me to mess with her. But what she's been taught in her culture guides her every decision.

  2. I imagine my life would have been waaaaay different if I hadn't gone to school. Or even if I'd taken school seriously!