I love to read. Summertime always presents me with reading opportunities, such as air travel, pool-side sitting and beach lounging. I usually look forward to this time with great anticipation and fore-thought. I make my lists of “can’t wait to read” books way in advance and purchase books on-line or reserve them at libraries. However this summer is different. I have a precocious tween reader. If you have been exposed recently to teen literature, you are probably all too aware of where I am going with this.
Current teen literature really runs the gamut; from the severely insipid to the wildly inappropriate. As my kid devours books, and I am never sure what the subject matter will cover, I now have to read them before she does. From a time perspective this isn’t too onerous. I am a speed reader when properly motivated. However, from a subject matter point-of-view, I have been really dreading my summer reading list.
As expected, the list has been heavy on the dystopian novel sets. I am sure everyone by now has heard of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and possibly the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, but have you discovered the Independent Study trilogy by Jonelle Charbonneau yet? I will admit that I have completed all nine of these books. I will also admit that I have enjoyed some of them.
They did not make movies of the Hunger Games books because they were boring. If you need a teen dystopian trilogy to read, start with these. If you are giving them to your children to read, please be advised that these books deal with extreme violence and disturbing themes. They are basically about a government making children kill other children for sport. The murders are described in detail as well.
The Divergent trilogy is also a post apocalyptic series that features children engaging in extreme violence. The first book of the series is an engaging read, but by the time you get to the last book, Allegiant, the thrill is gone. Even my tween had a hard time finishing it.
Independent Study was assigned by my daughter’s school as required reading for incoming seventh graders. Yet another dystopian trilogy, I was almost ready to ask, “where are the vampires?” This one also deals with government initiated children killing children, and trust issues also feature prominently, however it is slightly more age appropriate and both my daughter and I were engaged and finished all three of the books.
I am now desperate to read something slightly more uplifted and uplifting. If you have any suggestions, please send them via the comments section and we can be beach reading buddies this summer. If you are looking for more info on what the kids are reading this summer, just ask. I have probably read it.