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Young Adult Nonfiction 31
Inspiring Young Minds to Love and Enjoy Art
(Updated: September 12, 2021)
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WHAT ADULTS DON’T KNOW ABOUT ART is a YA non-fiction book that sets out to answer the big question: why is art important? It’s one of those questions that is rarely answered, even in prestigious literature on art. Instead, we’re meant to naturally show reverence, which can make the art in question, especially that found in museums and galleries, kind of boring. This book instead teaches us how to lean into what it is we like and the reasons we can have for hanging certain pieces in our bedrooms, such as remembering, appreciation, hope, sadness, balance, and making sense of money.

The tone of this book is perfect. It’s so inviting and doesn’t impress upon us the art we should care about. Instead, it helps us make sense of why some art may appeal to us. It is the author’s hope that knowing why art resonates with us will help us to become more engaged with it. Reading this book is like talking to a friend, one who’s casual, smart, and cares. The structure of the text is set up well too, as the most important points on each page are in bigger font, so if anyone wanted to skim through the book for core ideas, they could. There are also a lot of pictures, but the captions for them are at the bottom of the page in smaller font. If the reader is interested in knowing more about the picture, the information is right there on the page, but it’s also not necessary to read for the context of the book. In other words, it’s almost a pick-your-own-adventure type of format.

As someone who has been to many museums and was more overwhelmed there than inspired, I love the message of this book. It’s not just useful for consumers, but also for creators, so we can think about these different ways art can serve or evoke people. In many ways, WHAT ADULTS DON’T KNOW ABOUT ART is an invitation to reframe how we think about art and to have a bit of fun with it! I highly recommend this book for everyone who has ever hung up a picture.
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