What Does #LoveOzYA Mean to Me by @ThoughtsbyTash

As someone who has adapted Australia as their home, but was luckily enough to spend my formative years in NZ. I have grown up with the movement of #LoveOzYA and have seen it grown.  From the small humble beginnings to the movement it is now.  It wouldn’t be the same movement without the champions and the novels that have come out in the last few years. We as readers and bloggers have had a role in this movement. A movement that has come so far, yet has so far to go. There have been pivot moments that have come and made their lasting mark. Yet in 2017 we were still seeking the own voice reads from the indigenous and seeking more diversity in novels despite what is out there.

If you asked me in 2011 who my favourite Oz YA authors were, it was easy and simple.  It would of been Melina Marchetta and Mary Grant Bruce. Authors like Steph Bowe weren’t in my world despite being published and readily available in the market. I grew up in a world where these books weren’t readily pushed towards me despite my love of reading . I gravitated to books that were popular or  were classic because of my education and choices available to me.  I had access to libraries like many others. Yet there was no screaming promotion or indication that there were beautiful stories out there from talented local authors.  Stories that I would love to have read as a teenager in Melbourne suburbia. 

OZ YA is a celebration of what a multi diverse nation we are to an extent, as there is still work to be done.  In the six years I have been blogging and been part of the community . I have seen many new stories comes out. Brilliant  life changing stories. Stories that  have educated me and changed my perspective on things. Books where I could utterly relate to the lead character and make me proud to say that I belong to this beautiful country.

#LoveOzYA maybe seen just a  movement to some but it is more just a movement.  It is not just an escape from the real world anymore, to forget things and find another character to love. #LoveOzYA is a way of life. Think about the bigger picture. We are supporting one of our own and every sale gives back to the industry.  Allowing the industry to invest and discover more of their stories. Allowing everyone to find their own little piece of  Oz YA.

Do I wish that as  a teenager, I had books like The First Third from Will Kotakis or  Life in Space from Melissa Keil. The books that current teenagers and future generations will have the privilege of  being able to grow up with. 

Yes undoubtedly. However I wouldn’t change a thing. YA is written for teenagers but I still find myself  drawn to the magic beautiful tales that exist. Lessons that as I as an adult still find myself relating to.

 #LoveOzYA isn't just a movement. It is a way of life.

You can find Tash via Thoughts by Tash  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

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