A Guest post by Andrea Buginsky
Choosing Books Wisely
How do you know when your child is ready to move on to books written for pre-teens and teens ( YA books) ? A huge part of the decision will be on you. You know what content is out there. Are you comfortable letting your child read it? Is your child ready for the bigger words and larger books?
As a young adult and middle-grade writer, I know I’m writing for teens who are typically reading books that can contain adult content. This same group is watching shows aimed at teens that also include adult content. But for the younger teen readers, you may not be comfortable with them reading content for older teens. So, what do you pick? Middle-grade books are a great place to start. What kid doesn’t love Harry Potter? And if they start reading book one in sixth or seventh grade, and read one book a year, they’ll be old enough for the more mature content that appears towards the end of the series.
Another aspect to look into when choosing books for your older reader is the content. If you’re not comfortable with your child reading about teens having sex or drinking, for instance, you can avoid books that feature this. There are plenty of great MG and YA books that avoid this type of content, my books included. Do a Google search for clean teen reads. I did one for “teen books no adult content,” and came up with several websites that list books with this feature.
You can also browse your local bookstore or library. Spend some time in the teen section, selecting a variety of books. Read some of them yourself to see what content they include. Talk to your librarian for suggestions. Some libraries have a specialist in the teen section who will be more than happy to discuss the books with you, and help you find titles you’re comfortable with your child reading.
What it really comes down to is your personal feelings. Someday your child will be ready to select her own books. Until then, do your research and follow your instincts. You’ll find plenty of great books for your older reader.
- Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
- Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen, Book 3
- Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy
- Fate: New Avalon, book 2, a YA fantasy
- My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
She is currently writing the third book in the New Avalon series.Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.