Summer and YA novels are a perfect pair. When hot weather and some spare leisure time coincide, it’s the perfect opportunity to curl up outside with a great book. I fondly remember the days before high school, when summer meant taking swim lessons and catching up on pleasure reading before classes started again. It was a rude awakening for me when I turned 14 and my mom told me I needed to get a job. My days of laziness were over.
I am lucky that the summer jobs I have worked in my life have never been awful. Somehow, I have managed to avoid working in food service. I have never waited a table and I probably never will. My summer jobs tended to be nerdy: library page, tour guide at historical sites, box office employee at a summer theatre company, drama camp teacher, etc. Although my jobs were atypical, they usually were interesting enough to keep me engaged from day to day. I never had to wear a costume or uniform outside of a logo t-shirt, and I did occasionally earn a tip or two as a tour guide. I had nothing to complain about, really.
Not all summer jobs are as cushy and flexible as mine were. This week, we’re exploring a range of summer job experiences depicted in YA novels. Some jobs sound fun and interesting, and others are downright miserable. We will examine how the young women in these books handle their work experiences and how that affects whether or not they are Slatebreaking characters.
As we get ready to read about the good, bad, and ugly of fictional YA summer jobs, tell us about some of your summer work experiences. What summer jobs have you had? Do you have any crazy stories to share? We want to know how your summer jobs shaped you into the person you are today. Keep checking in this week to read our reviews of YA books about girls with summer jobs both ordinary and unusual.
I have worked at a shoe store (the worst part of that was definitely the smelly feet), food service (getting hit on by drunk people and always having the smell of food in your hair), and babysitting (where one of my young charges launched an ambush attack and tied my up with a jump rope). Fortunately, I have not had to do any of these in recent years.
Shoe store. Shudder. Ugh.
I am that too