Best Coming of Age Novels
Best Coming of Age Novels
It is a special amazing time when a boy becomes a man or a girl becomes a woman, and coming of age novels coming age novel a novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education. These are also called initiation or bildungsroman, and are a novels dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education.
Many traditional cultures have initiation rites that help us know what we should as we age.
But not Americans. For us, we just have novels. But what great novels they are!
The Catcher in the Rye
Is this the Quintessential Coming of Age Novel
It is fiercely debated, but many people believe that Catcher in the Rye is THE initiation novel of our time. While I am not sure of that, I do think it is worth reading – as well as the autobiography of Joseph Heller. The autobiography is from my eBay store, and the sale will help an Autism charity.
Huckleberry Finn -not just a great coming of age novel but perhaps the Great American Novel
Huckleberry Finn starts off this novel as a boy and he ends closer as a man, this is indeed the classic coming of age novel. He encounters danger that is at time terrifying. Twain was not afraid to take on racism, which has been described as THE American story.
Funny, memorable – you will find more in this book every time you read it. I believe that Huckleberry Finn is the Great American Novel, and that is unique in that both adults and children can enjoy it. I read it with my son when he was about 12 – and it was a perfect way to read this book. There is very sensitive material as Twain holds no punches by showing the truth: whether it is the alcoholism and the abusiveness of Huck’s father or the racism of Huck. This book changed American history and is listed on The Library of Congress’s list of 88 books that shape America
Other Amazing Coming of Age Novels
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin is a compelling tale of growing up as black, gay and poor in the America that did not appreciate him. Baldwin said, “is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else.”
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is a haunting American classic of a young woman fighting mental illness and depression. It was finished just a few days before her suicide.
I believe everyone should read Go Tell it on the Mountain: the haunting of a lawyer trying to defend a black man in the deep South and the little girl who grew up while he did.
Little Women was a classic from a much earlier time, and it shows how young girls grew up to become young women .
How do you grow up with a handicap, and orphaned? Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham explores this beautifully.
Go Tell It on the Mountain (Vintage International)The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary EditionLittle Women (Mnemosyne Classics): Complete and Unabridged Classic EditionLittle Women (Collector’s Series)Of Human Bondage
Of course, most of these coming of age books made exceptional movies as well like this amazing Catcher in the Rye.
Coming of Age, Initiation or Bildungsroman take on the hard questions of how to grow up in a harsh world
In an ideal society, all of us would be mentored, loved and sheltered through our growing up into a welcoming and nurturing society. Unfortunately it is not that way – and good coming of age novels capture and resolve the drama in unforgettable ways.