Juveniles on Brink of Personal Journey, Says Youth Advocate

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 16:22 PM.

It’s only appropriate that fantastical genres of storytelling are often geared toward preadolescents, says writer Elayne James.

“It’s an extremely impressionable time, with the wonder of childhood firmly established and a dramatic transformation about to take place,” says James, author of “Destiny’s Call,” the first installment of the fantasy series “The LightBridge Legacy,” (www.lightbridgelegacy.com). 

It’s also not surprising that the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy from 2001 to 2003 was one of the most successful in film history – and that fans are eagerly anticipating director Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth on Dec. 14 with the release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” she says.

In addition to being masterfully interpreted on the big screen, many of us were attached to the story from the books, which are often introduced during the middle school years. The narratives and personal experiences we have during preadolescence tend to stay with us more than those from other phases of life.

Researchers frequently cite pediatric neuroimaging studies, which show that during the ages of 11 and 12 our brain development is at a fundamental stage. A four-month journey across America at that age left an indelible impression on James. The trip culminated in New York City which became the launching point for the “Tolkien-esque” adventure in her most recent novel.

“Think about what you were learning at that age, your interests, the dreams of who you might someday become, all taking shape as your sense of self comes slowly into focus. Those things you loved as a child, whether it be drawing or basketball, music or dance, will likely be what brings you back to yourself later in life.”

James says there’s much to value about pre-teens experiencing narratives like “The Hobbit”:



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