Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"




To find more books by your favorite author, click on the author's name in the title...

Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bad Books for Kids by David Mills

Touchstone magazine just published an edition on Books that includes this excellent analysis of the current state of books for teenagers. Though David Mills examines books a shade higher than the tween level, there is a lot of overlap and the problems of teens books is creeping steadily through the tween market. His summary points of the destructive assumptions that bad books convey to adolescent readers is spot-on. I also agree with him that the bad books outweigh the good ones, at least for older teen readers. That's the culture we currently live in...

This article won't be available on-line yet, but you can bookmark the site and catch it in the archives. (or borrow it from me if you know me). In which case, you know to catch me at church...

David Mills' summary of the destructive assumptions in books marketed to teens:

~ Kids have horribly difficult lives, even if they have every comfort and pleasure in the world.

~ Families are rarely "havens in a heartless world," but a trial that for obscure reasons must be endured, though evaded if possible, on the way to adulthood.

~ No one understands them, the people in authority over them least of all.

~ Kids are alone to handle their problems.

~ Girls are strong but often cruel and manipulative; boys are soft and stupid though they can be physically brutal.

~ Talking explicitly about bodily functions is a sign of maturity and realism. Doing so embarrasses parents, because they are not as open and natural, and by implication mature, as their children.

~ Sexual activity is not governed by any form of morality.

Thank you, Mr. Mills, for a thorough and accurate read on teen books...

http://www.touchstonemag.com/

3 comments:

impossiblewriter July 15, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

Thank you for that post. "His summary points of the destructive assumptions that bad books convey to adolescent readers is spot-on. I also agree with him that the bad books outweigh the good ones, at least for older teen readers." You are definitely "spot-on" with that one...that's why I wrote a book for our tween culture. :) Hope you check it out!

God bless,
Taylor J. Beisler
www.taylorbeisler.com
http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ArintSaratir-WarriorsLight.html
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009906300321

max July 16, 2009 at 7:07 AM  

I appreciate any efforts to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it.

That's because I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write Christian action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

My blog, Books for Boys http://booksandboys.blogspot.com recently reached # 1 on Google.

Keep up your good work concerning reading.

Max Elliot Anderson

Tween Lit Crit July 17, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

Taylor,
Your book looks promising, and I would like to read and review it. I'll add it to my to-do list. Thanks!

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