Friday, August 26, 2011

Teens and Books

Editor Roger Sutton: "If you're a teen who is running your reading choices by your parents, grow up. If you're a parent who feels compelled to approve your child's reading, shut up. The books and the kids are all right."

  Hm. My oldest is eleven so technically I shouldn't weigh in on this subject until Februrary of 2013, but I always like sticking my nose where it doesn't belong.

  My kids are constantly holding up some sparkly-covered hardback and asking if it's good. All right, I do read a lot of YA, but it's an enormous genre and I certainly can't keep up with them all. They're probably just lazy and looking for a 10 second review so they don't waste energy lugging the thing home, only to find out it's junk. Usually I have to flip through it, try to remember if I'd seen any reviews on it, then shrug and hand it back with a 'Dunno, check it out and see.'

  What gets a pass? I read 'The Good Earth' by Pearl S. Buck when I was 9. Hey, it's a classic so it's okay, right? I improved my mind, right? Actually no. It was scary and repulsive and I had nightmares. Good literature, but definitely not for a pre-teen. So, if my kid wanted to read it, I would think hard about where they're at, what they would get from it, and then 'approve' or not.

That said, I sure hope they still 'run their reading choices' by me when they're teens. I sure hope I still care enough to peek at this title or that, maybe open a cover and read a few pages, maybe even pull some off the shelves and tell them why I loved that book and they will, too. It doesn't mean they're not grown up. It doesn't mean I'm an overbearing parent. Maybe it means that we like to read together, enjoy the same types of books. And maybe it means there really IS a lot of crap out there.

When they grow up they can read all the slasher true crime books they want.
But not at 15.
Not in my house.
And I don't feel like shutting up about it, Mr. Sutton, thank you very much.


  1. Wow. I do NOT like that man's comment. Yikes. My 7 yr old recently brought home a comic from school. Normally we let him read superhero ones, but this one was fairly scary with vampires, werewolves, etc, so we sent it back to school and told him it wasn't appropriate for his age. lol
    That's what parents are for, imo.
    I saw you on the Seekers and wanted to pop by. :-)

  2. Hi Jessica! Isn't Seekerville the best? I've leared so much over there.
    Yup, I don't usually get all 'mama bear' over comments like this, but the tone was a little over the top. And some thing aren't appropriate for ANYBODY. :D