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Young Adult Fiction Own Voices

In Our Own Teen Voice 4

An Anthology of Creative Fiction by Vancouver Island Teens grades 8 to 12

edited by Lori Shwydky

Rebel Mountain Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Own Voices, Coming of Age, General (see also headings under Family)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12


In Our Own Teen Voice 4 is an anthology of creative fiction and poetry by teens in Vancouver Island, BC, in grades 8-12. With themes ranging from self-identity, family, friends and relationships, belonging, sports, gaming, stress, depression, disability, and loss, to coming-of-age, sexual orientation, love, war, passion, courage, and hope, In Our Own teen Voice 4 is written by teens, for teens, and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

About the author

Lori Shwydky graduated Vancouver Island University (VIU) in 2016 with a BA in Creative Writing. She resides in Nanoose Bay, BC.

Lori Shwydky's profile page

Excerpt: In Our Own Teen Voice 4: An Anthology of Creative Fiction by Vancouver Island Teens grades 8 to 12 (edited by Lori Shwydky)

Growing Up- Serena de Waal

What do you wanna be when you grow up?" A simple question we are all asked at some point in our lives. A funny term, grow up. It's something that's considered good but also bad at the same time. We go from wanting to be older to wishing to be younger again.

At five we are asked what we want to be. As if at five we can comprehend the idea of choosing one thing to do for the rest of our lives. We are praised for answers like doctor, fireman, dentist, even astronauts, and rock stars are considered normal answers and are accepted. But the second a young kindergartener wants to be a painter or, god forbid, a writer, they are considered young and foolish and asked to pick a more reasonable occupation.

Society has this need to plan out our lives from the time we are five, planting ideas in our heads like seeds, and as they grow so do we. At eleven, we are told to stay young while we can. To enjoy our lives, to "not grow up too fast," life should be enjoyed.

Yet by sixteen we have to really start choosing a career path and by eighteen we better have one. We have to pick one out the same way a child would choose candy off a shelf. We are expected to know exactly what we want out of our lives before they've even really begun.

We go from playing in sandboxes with Barbies and Hot-wheels to *BANG* working behind a desk in a cubicle like a prisoner with a life sentence spending their time alone in their cell. They expect us to know exactly what we're doing, but hell! They never really told us how to. Spending so much time telling us to be young. Well, we never really got to.

We worry about the future they were telling us about without properly preparing us for potential problems. We are young, and we will always be as young as we let ourselves be. Life is strange that way; we consider growing up a change, the way a butterfly goes through metamorphosis. But really, we act the way we think we should depending on our age.

By thirty, we are adults. No more growing up, no more being young, no more being childish. We are grown-up. We become the ones telling children not to live their dreams. Not me, I will never be the person to tell a child that their dream is inadequate.

I hope to have a daughter someday and when I do I will tell her that she can be whatever she wants if she puts her mind to it. She is so young, and her dreams are like galaxies, constantly expanding. Growing up shouldn't be scary, it should be enjoyed. When I grow up, I want to be a decent human being. So, I ask again.

What do you wanna be when you grow up?

Editorial Reviews

"In Our Own Voice 4 is a gift for Vancouver Island teen writers. There is nothing like having your passion recognized and celebrated at a young age."-Morgan Cross, Author

"A celebration of youth literacy"-BC BookLook

Other titles by Lori Shwydky