Wednesday 24 August 2011

Teen & Pre-Teen Books

I have just had a look at Booktrust's Best Books Guide for 2011 and the teen and pre-teen books and my first thought was children's books have changed since my day. But have they?

The Pre-teen books these days cover some serious issues, such as cancer, religious sects and the death of a parent. Only recently, The Jellyfish has read Jacqueline Wilson's The Longest Whale Song, which is about a girl whose mother is in a coma (I've been there, although I was an adult at that time and it is still upsetting to think back at that time, even though my mum did come round).

When I was a pre-teen, I was reading The Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley Twins. But then I remember Caroline B Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton which told the story of a girl who had been kidnapped as a small child and had grown up with the kidnapper's family until she starts to remember her past. I was hooked on this book and I think it was my first experience of being unable to put a book down. I'd even set my alarm early so I could read before school!

The teen books contain more harrowing situations; sleeping rough because your father has died, more cancer and honor killings.

Looking back on my teen years, I see Sweet Valley High and Point Romance but if I think hard enough there was more than the fluffy teenage stuff. What about Dear Nobody about a teenage girl who falls pregnant and has to face termintation and adoption?

Maybe the books aren't so different now then they were back then...

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