How can “ordinary” teens find the “extraordinary” within themselves and become their own heroines?
In Extraordinary October I wrote about a girl who thinks she’s nothing special. I know that feeling well. I spent high school without a best friend or a group I belonged to or any particular talent. Now I have become a writer, but back then I got B’s on all my English papers. I slipped through my days feeling unremarkable in every way – just like my character, October.
One night my first year at college, I listened to my roommate talking about the dream she’d had the night before. She was running as fast as she could but not getting anywhere, she saw a man she thought was her dad, but when he turned around it wasn’t him. The group of us listening laughed and nodded because we had all had those kinds of dreams.
My roommate was beautiful, she had even won a beauty pageant, and she was popular and giggly and fun. I was still quiet and shy. But we dreamed in the same way – the same way as everybody. At the same time, I realized her dream was also unique. I had never had her exact dream – or my other roommate’s dream of flying over New York City – or the guy down the hall who dreamt he was wrestling a tiger that looked like his football coach. And they had never had my dreams. No one dreams the way I do. No one else has my thoughts. I am the only me there is in the entire universe – just the way I am.
My epiphany that night gave me courage. We are all the same and we are all different. Our similarities are comforting; our differences are fascinating. I liked hearing someone else’s perspective. Maybe they would like hearing mine too.
I began to speak up more frequently, to raise my hand in class and to say hi to people outside of class. I let people hear my unique thoughts. People responded, they were interested, and I started to feel just a tiny bit remarkable.
In the book, October changes. She grows taller, a beautiful tattoo-like “fairy mark” appears on her leg, and she can talk to animals. But it’s not her new powers that save the day. She finally recognizes she is who she is and that it’s a good place to be.
It’s a cliché to say we are all extraordinary in our own way, but it’s true. We are all the same and there is comfort in that. And we are all unique and there’s strength in that. When we celebrate both we become the heroines of our own stories.
About Extraordinary OctoberTitle: Extraordinary October
Author: Diana Wagman
Publisher: Ig Publishing
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Target Audience: Young Adult
Length: 264 pages
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N
October is an ordinary girl. From her plain looks to her average grades, there seems to be nothing special about her. Then, three days before her eighteenth birthday, she develops a strange itch that won’t go away, and her life is turned upside down. Suddenly, she can hear dogs talk, make crows fly, and two new and very handsome boys at school are vying for her affections. After she starts “transplanting” herself through solid rock, October learns that she is not ordinary at all, but the daughter of a troll princess and a fairy prince, and a pawn in a deadly war between the trolls and the fairies. Now October will have to use all of her growing powers to save her family, and stop a mysterious evil that threatens to destroy the fairy world.
In the fantastical vein of authors such as Julie Kagawa and Holly Black, Extraordinary October takes us on a magical journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the beautiful and mythical underground fairy kingdom.
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