Today is April 4th, the day on which George Orwell’s 1984 famously begins—in the year 1984, of course (a year that seems rather closer than usual right now). Inspired by this literary holiday of sorts, I went out in search of other notable fictional dates—that is, specific days on which something interesting happens in literature (as opposed to actual events that are reported in novels, as background or otherwise). I’m sure there are an infinite number of these out there, but there are also an infinite number of books in which the author never pins down the events at all, rather letting them float in the reader’s imagination—an approach that certainly has its merits. But if you are an obsessive planner and list-maker (like certain people, not me, not me at all), you enjoy knowing exactly what has happened, and what will happen, and when—even if said events are made up. So without any further ado, below please find a selection of fictional events set on actual dates, for all your reading, reminiscing, and party-planning needs.
I love things like this.
The fictional Quimby family live on the very real Klickitat Street, only a few blocks from Grant Park, where Cleary played as a child. Walking tours of the neighborhood point out the places that made it into Cleary’s novels, like the parking lot where Ramona got her boots stuck in the mud or the lawn where Henry dug for night crawlers.
Even though she no longer resides in Portland, the city has embraced the writer as its own, immortalizing her most popular characters in the Grant Park statues.
Cleary’s birthday is this coming week, so no better time to check out the statues that immortalize her contributions to children’s literature.
Many authors were inspired to write stories because of places that they visited, or lived, or read about. While fiction can be inspirational, more often than not a spark of creativity can be found in the real world, too. Story ideas can come from all different sources, including actual locations that exist. In this case, you don’t have to worry about reading the book and then never falling down a rabbit hole or crawling through a wardrobe in order to visit. These geographical locations can be accessed through the real world — here are some real life places that inspired books.
Have you been to any of these places?
The earlier kids realize they can get involved with things and have the power to make a difference the better. These books, all for young people, highlight activism and resistance in their stories.
This reading list, put together by YA Resists, a group of Los Angeles-based YA authors, and sponsored by PEN USA, has something for everybody. And no matter how old you are, the right story can motivate you to fight the good fight, whatever that may mean to you.