I don’t do a whole lot of discussion posts on here, but when I do write discussion posts for Tweens Read Too, they tend to be about issues like censorship.
And don’t get me wrong; I’m the first person to vouch for kids having freedom in what they read and what they like to read. But what I’ve come to realize in the years that I’ve been book blogging, and growing up myself, is that there has to be some kind of baseline.
What I mean by baseline is that honestly, I wish I had never read some of the New Adults books that I’ve read. I won’t name any names, but I wish I had never read some YA books that I’ve read. The truth is that a lot of people write novels, and not all readers have the same kinds of ideals that writers have. There are so many different kinds of realities, and that’s part of what makes reading great.
But you wouldn’t give 50 Shades or Gone Girl to a kindergartner, and there are a lot of books (that are closer than they seem) that have, albeit muted, versions of those same themes.
So where do we draw the baseline, and who gets to draw it? I guess that’s where the danger starts, but I think a good general rule is to find someone who reads a lot in your community. If that’s not you, find a librarian. A random kid searching the aisles in a bookstore. Who knows, he or she could turn out to be a blogger. We’re here for all of you, and a lot of us are on Twitter.
Growing up, I had a huge number of people around me who read. I also had an amazing school librarian who was constantly recommending great books to me. It’s nice to have people like that in your life, which is where book clubs and Goodreads groups (and Goodreads reviews) can come in handy.
For all of the librarians, booksellers, and bloggers out there, reach out to your community to give great, age-appropriate recommendations! And for all the readers out there, young and old, don’t be afraid to to reach out.