Well like a lot of you, I read that article on WSJ, wanting to respond but not really knowing how. Needles to say the article was a bit sensational this of course is my opinion. I am a writer, although I don’t write YA as an avid reader I enjoy the genre. So my thing with this whole mom walks into a book store and can’t find anything on the shelf for her thirteen year old daughter to read is crap, sorry. Chances are the very book that convinced that woman to walk out of the bookstore, her daughter probably has already
1. Heard off and wants to read
2. Thanks to a friend at school has probably already read it. Who didn’t swap book in school?
Who didn’t spend the lunch hour reading something you wouldn’t want you parents to catch you reading, huh?
Kids these days are a lot smarter then we probably were when we were 13, I have learned things from that particular age group that I could not have imagined knowing back then. The thing is we should concentrate on the fact that kids are reading period. What they read can be controlled, but if kids have a good communication system at home then they will make good decisions.
Why worry so much about what is on bookshelves in the libraries or in the bookstore and not pay that much attention to what your child is watching on television. There are shows out there that are violent, that have sexual content and deal with sensitive matters just as much as the books being sold today do. Think of something such as 90210 for example, every topic that ever been explored on that show has been written about in some book or another. So are you going to let your daughter or son watch a show that deals with homosexuality, drugs and sex that on that show has not always been consensual. I ask, what’s the difference? These days you either watch it or you read about it.
Some of the issues being written about are very real, obstacles that most girls and boys face every day and if reading one book can help one child overcome his or her struggles then that book was worth the read. Speak to your children, be honest and open with them, teach them what you would like them to learn if it worries you what they will learn from others.
For me personally it was that openness, my brother and sisters shared with my parents when we younger that enabled us to become the people we are today, the type of people that have made responsible decisions. I read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, hell I read Flowers In The Attic which in the 80’s when I first read was a pretty controversial book, none of those scarred me, I didn’t ever meet anyone who had read the book and go do the things written about in it.
The bottom line is that our kids will not be sent to the hunger games, your daughter will not befriend a werewolf, or fall in love with a vampire, the beauty about books is that they are stories and it’s those stories that we want to devour and enjoy and share with friends.
Happy Reading Everyone!
So tell me what books do you remember reading as a child? Any you found too racy and hid from your parents?