Juveniles on Brink of Personal Journey, Says Youth Advocate

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM.

   • Preparation and a sense of identity: In “The Hobbit,” the prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, Bilbo Baggins is the protagonist on a quest for treasure. Throughout his journey, he grows and matures, learning to accept the various aspects of his personality, including those that are less appealing. He must be brave at times, and rely on his common sense at other times. This is the journey pre-teens face when entering adolescence, and discussing it with them through the prism of Bilbo Baggins can be a wonderful teaching moment (as well as a potentially entertaining conversation).

    • Puberty, the universal “adventure: ” Everyone must endure that first plunge of major physical transformation with puberty. As the body is flooded with adult hormones, adolescents must rely on their still-developing young minds to deal with mature situations. This can be a difficult, even frightening, time and, of course, kids are never the same after puberty. Baggins’ ordeals show children that high adventure (including puberty!) and the most important experiences in life, leave us forever changed. There may be frightening moments, times they grieve what they’re leaving behind, but ultimately, the journey is rewarding.

    • There and Back Again … This is not only the expanded title of Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” it is also a reoccurring theme in James' career as a writer. After reading “The Hobbit” at age 11 and chronicling her own adventures across America a year later, she decided to create her own stories. "Without Tolkien's invitation to Middle Earth," she says, "I might have followed a very different path. Tolkien made me view my own life as an adventure and I believed that I, like the unassuming, shy little Hobbit, could succeed, even against all odds." Returning to New York as an adult, and as an author, she claims, brought her journey full circle.

“What occurs during adolescence stays with you," says James, "so it's important to make sure children are exposed to positive stories and experiences.”

About Elayne James

Elayne James started her writing career at age 11 – after she read “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien and discovered she wanted to spend her life creating worlds. In addition to being a lifelong writer, she has been a singer/songwriter, sound effects specialist, a video editor, a playwright, a theatrical lighting designer, a graphic artist and a professional photographer. She lives by the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.



1 2

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

COMMENTS
▲ Return to Top
 
loading...