Local author Lindsay Eland will be at The Next Page bookstore on Sunday to sign her two books, “Scones and Sensibility” and “Summer of Sundays,” and talk about young-adult fiction.
“I love that age, that middle-grade age between 9 and 12,” Eland said. “It’s a really important age and one that gets easily overlooked, just like Sunday. They easily get overlooked because they are in the middle, too old for this and that and too young for the other things.”
Eland said that age range can be awkward because 9- to 12-year-olds aren’t cute and innocent like the little kids, but they also aren’t attention seeking and beautiful like the older kids in high school.
“It’s such an amazing age that gets overlooked, where kids are changing and growing so much, standing on that balance between childhood and adulthood, trying to find their way,” she said. “I love the ages and their transitions, and I can play with both sides of the childish as well as the between kind of growing up. So that’s another thing that I like about it is being able to write both sides of that, those experiences that they have at that age.”
The books are both about the 9 to 12 age range and written to appeal to those ages.
“There’s nothing in my books that someone younger couldn’t read; anybody could read it, really, it’s written in that way,” Eland said. “I was working with my editor kind of changing certain words that were too high and other words that were too low, so finding that balance of writing for that age group because that’s also a wide range of readers.”
Eland’s latest book, “Summer of Sundays,” was released on Tuesday and focuses on the main character, Sunday, a girl who feels lost in the middle of her large family and is searching to make her mark in the world, Eland said.
“She’s really relate-able because she feels kind of left out,” she said. “She feels overlooked, she feels too young for this and too old for that. She’s trying to find where she fits in in her family, where she has younger siblings who are all cute and older siblings who can do other things and are attention grabbing.”
Sunday feels lost in the mix.
“I think kids that age can relate because that’s an age that can be overlooked and left behind and forgotten a lot of times,” Eland said. “In a lot of ways, as adults, we want to forget that time in our lives. So we’re kind of celebrating that instead of bemoaning it.”
Eland said girls of that age group can relate to Sunday because she’s in that place where she’s old enough to notice boys but not old enough to really know what to do about that.
“Same with her appearance,” Eland said. “She’s aware of it and what she likes, but she’s not really sure what to do with it, how to do that. Do I start dressing and acting older or can I be this young and fun person? She’s just trying to find that balance.”
Young-adult fiction is a great genre, Eland said, because she sees her own children trying to navigate the middle school ages.
“Books can be that lifesaver,” she said. “My daughter who is 12 is going into seventh grade and she’s a really big reader, and it’s helped her navigate certain things. You might not have experienced it, but you can experience it through a book or a character. It’s been cool to see her grow through reading certain books for that age group and exploring life from that.”
“I think kids that age (9-12) can relate because that’s an age that can be overlooked and left behind and forgotten a lot of times.”