Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Sara and Melissa Talk About...What Our Kids Are Reading

We've been running a column series (for over three years now!) to get more personal with our readers. This month, we are talking about the books our kids are into (or have been into in the past).

We're always open to topic suggestions, so please don't hesitate to share those in the comments. We'd also love to know if you can relate to anything we've said or hear your own thoughts on the topic. So don't be shy. :) We look forward to getting to know you as much as we're letting you get to know us. You can find our previous columns here, in case you missed them. 

Sara Steven:

For National Family Literacy Month, I wanted to focus on what my two sons have been reading. For most of their lives, libraries and books have been a huge intricate part of their childhoods. Spending time with them with a book or two at bedtime is a wonderful tradition that I will always cherish, and although their habits have changed a lot, I love that they still show an interest in reading.   

From 2016

My eighteen year-old is currently reading:

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: This is a book a friend had recommended to me when I was in my early twenties. I thought it was funny when my son showed this recent purchase to me–also recommended to him by a friend. 

Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Blame by Tsutomu Nihei

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin: My son has become very attached to the recent Oppenheimer movie. He has seen it six times! So it wasn’t a surprise to me to see this on his book pile.

What my thirteen year-old is currently reading:

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Dog Man book series by Dav Pilkey: I’m fairly certain he’s read every single book that is in this series.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney: The same could be said for this series, too. He has every single book on his reading table in his bedroom right now.

Melissa by Alex Gino: My son’s English class had a list of books the kids could choose from to read for a book report, and he chose this one. After looking it up on Goodreads, it looks as though our very own Melissa has read it, too.

Melissa Amster:

A while back, I obtained a collection of Baby-Sitters Club books, hoping that my daughter would devour them like I did. I think this may have been pre-pandemic, that's how long they have been sitting on her shelf...untouched. We even watched the TV series on Netflix and she loved it. I thought that would inspire her to read the books. I tried reading one of them to her to get things started and she lost interest quickly. She keeps saying she will read the books, but so far, that hasn't happened. And she has moved on to other books that I also enjoy: Young adult rom coms (including those that are LGBTQ+ themed). So I can't totally fault her for not wanting to connect with the BSC, even though I still do. (And no, I haven't showed her the graphic novels, but I feel like that takes away from the excitement I felt from reading the chapter books when I was her age.) 

This also applies to the Sweet Valley Twins books, which I think she would probably ignore in favor of Sweet Valley High, if I could get my hands on those. I have to wonder if they'll be too "eighties" for her. I also recall that she didn't read the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary that I enjoyed as a kid. (Same for Ellen Tebbits.) Nor has she picked up a Judy Blume book, even though she loved the Margaret movie.

Over the summer, she and I were talking about historical fiction and I told her about the Sunfire Romance novels I loved at her age. I even found a bunch on some websites and purchased the ones that were reasonably priced. 

Not pictured: Laura, which arrived later. Original post can be found here.

Has she read them yet? No. They are sitting on her dresser and she says that she'll get to them. Just having them in my house makes me feel so nostalgic. The ones I really loved were way too expensive to purchase for someone who may or may not eventually read them. 

As I mentioned above, my daughter enjoys YA rom coms a lot. She's a fan of Dahlia Adler, Robbie Couch, and a few others I also love. And even though it's middle grade, she and I both enjoyed The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz, and we are so excited to read Cut Loose soon. I thought she'd like the Heartstopper books more, but she is lukewarm on those. She did enjoy Loveless a lot. I think her friend is trying to get her to read the Summer I Turned Pretty series since they both enjoy the TV show. We'll see if that happens though. 

My sons read, but my younger son hasn't been as much into it as he used to. He'll read books for school assignments and sometimes I'll "catch" him reading for fun. When he was younger, he enjoyed the treehouse series by Andy Griffiths. My older son also reads a lot for school, but he enjoys young adult novels in his spare time (not that he has much of it these days). He likes TJ Klune's fantasies a lot and couldn't wait to read each one when it became available. When he was younger, he loved the Land of Stories books by Chris Colfer. All the kids would read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, but now I think my daughter may be the only one interested in the latest one. Same goes for the Dog Man and Cat Kid books. 

One author I will not share with my kids is V.C. Andrews. They know about her books (and have some idea of what happens), but I am not deliberately putting them into their hands. If they want the books, they know how to find them and can get them on their own. So far, none of them have had the desire to read them and that doesn't bother me. 

Overall, I'm glad my love for reading has rubbed off on my kids, but I don't think it's to the same level as it is for me. 

If you have kids, what are they reading? If you don't, what books did you enjoy while growing up?

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1 comment:

Jess said...

My 8 year old son is also very into Dog Man and Captain Underpants. He is just starting Diary of a Wimpy Kid too. I feel for you Melissa, I was really hoping to share my old Beverly Cleary books (specifically the Henry Huggins books) and he hasn't been interested. I also tried Louis Sachar's Wayside School series with him and he said it was too scary. I do feel glad that he has inherited my love of reading though, even if the choices aren't what i would necessarily make!