Chris Crutcher rules.

Next time you want to get a book for your thirteen-year-old, send her to Barnes and Noble with a few bucks to buy what she wants. Take a look at it. Read it with her. Talk about what you like and don’t like, and learn what she likes and doesn’t like. Don’t make her read it; the freedom to read includes the freedom not to read. Put yourself into that enviable spot of being someone to turn to when your daughter’s life, from her point of view, matches up with some book, because as much as you think — or hope — it won’t, trust me, it will. When it does, if she thinks she will be diminished in your eyes, she’ll go elsewhere for help.

from the Huffington Post

I can’t think of any way to better express the idea that teens NEED to read what they CHOOSE to read. So. What he said.

One commentator said:

The market offers a myriad of choices for the young adult reader. Twilight or Vampire Academy may be full of dark magic, but there are other series books that offer teen readers light fun stuff, such as the Clique or Gossip Girl books.

Wow. I’d much rather my kid read Twilight (as awful as it is) than the nasty, vindictive, money-obsessed Gossip Girl books. And I gladly tell her so, as she reads both. And lots of both terrible and fantastic books. This is the kid that recently said “Because of books, I learned how to be a person.” So I’m not too worried about her reading choices.

As for the teens I help to find books every day–they often love the dark, the dangerous, and the out-and-out grim. Living vicariously through these lives, which may or may not reflect their own lives, and which may or may not creep their parents out, helps teens experience different kinds of decision-making and consequences. They learn how to be people. It’s awesome.

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