Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Books for Teenage Girls

I spent some time at the public library today, trying to find some fiction for dd15 to read.

She had already attempted this search, with upsetting results. Last week when she was there with her dad, she found two novels that looked interesting. The one turned out to be so full of foul language that she stopped after the first chapter. The other held her interest throughout, but it ended with the main character's best friend committing suicide. Lovely.

Dd told me that she had looked for quite a while, and those two were all she could come up with. Thus my visit today, where I learned that she was not exaggerating. The "Young Adult" section, as our library calls it, should be renamed "The Cesspool." I flipped through book after book, finding pure junk. They very much reflected today's culture: an obsession with Hollywood and becoming a "star," massive name-dropping of designer clothes and other products, and plenty of foul language...and those were the least of my objections! Many were also liberally sprinkled with obscene language and descriptions of sex acts. Themes included rejection by parents and self-mutilating behavior. It took me 30 minutes to find two books, which appear to be relatively clean, if not literary masterpieces. We'll see if they, too, turn out to be duds.

Dd isn't big on reading, so I'm trying to find something that would change her mind about it. She would prefer something that takes place in the present day, rather than in the past. She has tried Christian fiction but finds it to be kind of preachy, or self-congratulatory in terms of the character's assessment of her faith. (Admittedly, she hasn't read a lot of Christian fiction, though.) Is it too much to ask for something written specifically for young women that's clean and interesting? Anybody got any suggestions?

2 comments:

Carol said...

Hi. I've found several authors who are really good & Christian.

Melody Carlson
Robin Jones Gunn

Barbara Frank said...

Thanks, Carol. We've heard of the second but not the first. We'll have to check that out!