It's been a very difficult week here. Last weekend one of the young people in our family's circle of friends was killed in a tragic accident. No drinking or drugs. An accident. Nobody's fault. But he's still gone. His life cut short before he even finished high school.
This is where the kindness kicks in. Teens amaze me. They often get such bad coverage in the media. I teach younger kids, but I know a lot of teens (including my kids and their friends). Kids across our city came together and did some pretty incredible things in honour of this young man. Many of them brought me to tears. Strength, honour, compassion, love and kindness.
These are the teens we write for. These are the teens we write about. These are the kids who come together, who help out the family, who are creative and compassionate even in their grief. They've written tributes, messages, poetry and songs. They've helped each other even as they've felt lost themselves.
When we write YA, we have to remember the depth of feelings of this age group. To portray them honestly, we have to include their capacity for love and kindness. Their resiliency.
If you've got one, give a teen a hug today.