I feel like I’m 13 anytime a book of mine is coming out. @nervesofsteel is no different.
(More about the book and its release April 2023, here.)
But what I want to talk about now is why this book came to be. When you’re 13 going on 14, a whole lot of things are going on.
Minerva Mae Christopoulos knows. She’s 13 going on 14, just started high school, and praying it will be far better than middle school. Will her nickname, Minerda, follow her forever?
Minerva also knows
Names are negotiable. Nicknames or first names or surnames or handles or IDs or whatever: one thing’s true. We can always rename ourselves. As Minerva likes to say, “I defy labels.”
Friends are rocks and shifting sand. Every day. And social media is the rough, sharp shoreline on which we discover this truth and get pounded with the daily tides.
There are gods and Goddesses, demigoddesses, and Gods. And many amorphous spirits in between. What do you worship, today? And why? At thirteen, we often ask the question.
Everything’s liminal. The past (middle school) can affect the present (high school) and the present moment slides back and forth between child and teen, teen and adult, and child and adult. Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don’t.
And when we’re in liminal spaces, we have low tolerance for the big lie: that life is full of boxes and we must be stuck inside them.
What’s breaking news isn’t always news.
Hometown heroes ain’t always ones.
The real heroines, they sometimes have to be unearthed from history.
So thank God for good journalism.
Impulse is your muse.
Impulse is also your Beelzebub/Frenemy/Worst Temptation Ever.
And every day, there’s one more chance to fall in love.
You might have a crush on a girl on your basketball team and a senior guy, all in the same year.
Because Love Is Love Is Love.
Big Star knew, when Alex Chilton and Chris Bell wrote “Thirteen.” (Greg Hawks covers this song really well, btw. I’m gonna make him cover it at a book signing soon.)
Book lovers, librarians, readers, teachers know: books for ages 13-14 matter.
Why not celebrate and honor this time some more?