I’ve read some passionately written posts in which the blogger gets very upset about the fact that grown women are devouring Young Adult literature. Oh my. And many of them are mothers, no less. It’s scandalous! My teenage daughter would describe those kinds of people as ‘judgy’. We don’t like when people are judgy. We like to read what we want, and we like to share stories with each other. If she doesn’t think it’s weird to read the same novels as her already weird novelist mother, then why would I complain? I write my novels for the future adult in her, so the least I can do is read the ones she already loves right now. Here are five of our favorites:
- Walk Two Moons: Sharon Creech books always require a tissue. Any time my daughter reads a book and says, “Mom, you have to read this,” I know it has touched her. She read this one in fifth or sixth grade and it is the ultimate in mother-daughter novels, featuring mystery, intriguing characters, and a protagonist with a big heart.
- The Outsiders: We both follow S.E. Hinton on Twitter because we absolutely love The Outsiders. She started reading it even before she knew it was my favorite, so that makes it even more special. It is timeless and will give you much to talk about with your daughter concerning social barriers, friendship, and growing up. In fact, when my daughter connected to this book and was able to talk about its deeper themes, I knew she really was growing up.
- Never Been Kissed: This novel is not to be confused with the movie. Author Melody Carlson knows what teenagers are thinking and my daughter is the one that told me I should read it. It’s a good one for discussing what kinds of things can happen involving teenage relationships and the dangers and mishaps of teens navigating the digital world.
- Diary of a Teenage Girl: Becoming Me: This is another one by Melody Carlson and is a must-read for mothers and daughters. This one deals with some very grown-up choices and the price of choosing friends for the wrong reason. It could give you and your daughter a way to broach the subject of boys, because we can’t ignore this important part of our daughter’s lives.
- The Fault In Our Stars: If you haven’t heard of it, then you really have been living under that rock your teenager might already think you live under anyway. This one has deep themes, and because it deals with cancer and some light sexuality, it’s a good one to read and discuss. Kids love this story because deep down it is a love story and it has intense moments of joy in the midst of trouble. Moms love it because what happens in the book reflects our biggest fears for our children, and you will love the mom and dad in this book. Author John Green has to be a parent to have such insight.
Guest contributor Tina Ann Forkner is a Women’s Fiction writer and the author of the novel, Waking Up Joy, which releases October 8 and is available for preorder now. She is also the author of Rose House and Ruby Among Us. Tina makes her home in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her husband, three teenagers, and two spoiled dogs. Learn more at www.tinaannforkner.com.