Today we welcome Victoria Kimble to my blog. Victoria is very graciously giving away a copy of Harmony Blues! To enter leave a comment and include contact information.
When I was in junior high, I brought my lunch to school every day. We didn’t have money for me to buy lunch, so I had to carry the brown bag of shame into the cafeteria, where hundreds of eyes turned toward me at the deafening crinkle my lunch bag made when I opened it to pull out my usually squished sandwich. Girls with perfectly done hair and way more makeup than I wore stopped dabbing the grease off their cafeteria pizza and stared at me before turning to giggle with their friends.
Okay, it probably wasn’t that bad. But I felt like I stuck out like an obnoxious neon orange in a sea of calm and cool blue. Now that I’m older, I can look back and realize that when kids were whispering to each other, there was an almost 100% chance that they weren’t talking about me. But back then I was so sure that every word was a comment on how awful I looked or how dumb I was acting.
Junior high was hard for me. I know it was hard for most people. And I’m sure it is still hard for those kids who teeter between childhood and teenage years. Add in social media and the expectations built up by the entertainment culture and our kids have their work cut out for them.
My heart is so tender toward tweens. The thought of what they are facing drives me to write stories for them. I want so badly to save them from the awkward pain they are sure to encounter, but I know that is unrealistic. Since my stories can’t save them, I hope they tell them three things:
1. They are not alone. They are not the only ones who feel out of place. Most kids do, even if they put on a brave front. I hope that if they know that most of the kids feel the same way they do, then they can take the pressure off themselves and not feel like they have to perform at some made up level.
2. They can stand up for what is right. It might not solve all their problems right away, but it is right. And in the end, it is always better to choose what is right, even when it might not be popular.
3. They can choose their own friends. They are not stuck with the same friends they’ve had in the past, especially if those friends are beginning to make poor choices. Kids have the power to choose to spend time with people who are kind to them and to others, and sometimes the bravest thing they can do is seek out those kinds of friends.
In Harmony Blues, book three in The Choir Girls series, Brittany faces all three of these dilemmas. Between a major life change at home and the sudden betrayal of her long-time best friend, Brittany finds herself having to navigate the rough waters of friendship and forgiveness.
Most of all, I hope that my stories give tweens hope. Hope that they will make it through these tumultuous years and they will come out on the other side stronger and wiser. Tweens just need to be reminded of this often. They’ll make it.