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Topic: Is there such a thing as pre-teen romance books?

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Subject: Is there such a thing as pre-teen romance books?
Date Posted: 8/28/2007 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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My 11 yr old dd had a friend over today and said she likes to read pre-teen romance.  I almost choked on my lunch.

Does such a thing really exist?  She mentioned the author Sarah Dessin?  I don't know how it is spelled.  If anyone has any information, I'm curious to see what this girl is reading because she plans on lending my daughter one of these books.  Yikes.

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 381
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Link to Sarah Dessen's web site.

I vaguely remember reading a teen romance aeons ago, and although I don't remember the title or the author, I remember the story -- it was about a girl who had fallen head over heels in crush with this hot hunka boy, and his family is lovely and wonderful, so they invite her to go away on vacation with them, too.  What she learns is that the father is a flighty guy who shows up when he feels like it, just like her bf, and the mother sticks around waiting for the few sunny moments when her husband lights up her life.  So ... not so much on the romance there (sounds like the author got burned!).

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 330
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I have heard of teen lit, but not of pre teen.  I looked up Sarah Dessen for you and here is an example of one of her books.   It seems pretty tame to me, but I am so out of the loop now, I wouldn't know what is appropriate for an 11 year old girl.  (I have a boy and he readys all these science fiction books I hate)  We have to skim all of my stepdaughter's reading material before we can give it her.  (Her mom is SUPER strict and doesn't even let her watch PG 13 movies yet, she is 12) Hope this helps you a little!

 

Gr. 8-11. After being caught with her best friend's Sophie's boyfriend at a summer party, Annabel Greene is starting her junior year alone and ostracized. But what appeared to be infidelity was really attempted rape. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (1999) will find obvious parallels here, including the play on the title, but Dessen spins her own quality tale of a young girl finding her voice, and finding an audience. Annabel's troubles are exacerbated by her family's refusal to acknowledge its problems: middle sister Whitney's severe anorexia or the three sisters' waning interest in modeling. A budding friendship with classmate Owen, a dj at the community radio station who is never without music to drown out the silence, helps Annabel listen to her own heart and risk speaking out honestly. Characterization and dialogue are expertly done, and Owen's anger-management advice and efforts to broaden Annabel's music tastes ("Don't think, or judge. Just listen") strengthen the theme of the story: honesty. Teen girls who meet Dessen for the first time here will be looking for her backlist. Cindy Dobrez

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Well, based on the above input I think she isn't ready for it yet.  Rape?  Anorexia? Getting caught with her bf's boyfriend?  I think I can push it off one more year at least. 

...And I thought reading anything would be better then not reading at all.  Guess not.  Don't need her boy crazy any earlier then its going to happen.  Thanks for your input and work.  I truly appreciate the time you took to send me the info.

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,954
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My nine year old granddaughter brought home a magazine from school for preteens: called Hooking up or something like that.  According to this mag, hooking up meant "going together" but in the adult world it is a bit more serious than that.  Hello????  She is only nine years old, shouldn't even be concerned with "going with someone"........

 

and have you heard the new term

He's "crushing" on you meaning he likes you and has a crush on you??  She thought someone was "crushing" on her Mom......

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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Beth, try the "Girls of Canby Hall" series... they are set at a New England girl's school in the 80's.  Through the course of the series each girl does date, but nothing more than a few kisses good-night on the date, and "oooo he's so cute", type talk about boys.  I loved them when I was 12-13ish.  I got a nearly full set on Ebay for like $12.

Date Posted: 8/28/2007 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 330
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We just bought my stepdaughter a set of books called the Internet Girls by Lauren Myracle. They are TTYL,  TTFN, and L8R, G8R.  I kinda browsed through one of them and they were very fun to read.  It is wrote in all text messages and emails.  Very fun books.

The Clique series by Lisi Harrison are also very good.  They are recommended for grades 5-8, so they are very "pre teen friendly" They are all about fitting in and stuff like that. 

Maybe you could get her interested in these books.  They have "cool" covers, so she would not be embarassed to be seen reading them. 

It seems like kids are growing up so fast these days.  My 11 year old son tells me that the girls in his class are already talking about "doing it" and I just can't believe it.  When I was 11, I was talking about just kissing a boy and that was big for us. 

I have a copy of one of the Clique books, number 2 I believe, and if you would like me to send it to you so you can have her give it a try, just pm me with you address (you can just have it)  and I will send it out to you.  My stepdaughter finished and just left it here, so it is all yours if you want it. 

 

Date Posted: 8/29/2007 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Thank you for the advise.  I wrote every one of them down.  I'll let you know what I pick and whether it is successful.  Right now my dd likes to think she reads but she never seems to finish anything.  I want to read the spyderwick chronicles before the movie comes out.  She says she read it but I doubt it.  Thanks again.  Gotta love this resource.

Sam, finally getting around to collecting those books this weekend.  They are motivated now because they want to sell their house.  I'll contact you when they are in my van.

 

Date Posted: 8/29/2007 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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Sounds great, Beth! :)

Date Posted: 8/29/2007 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 169
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Don't forget you are in charge of what you let your daughter read!  At age 11 she can't really make decisions about what is appropriate but it may be hard for her to say no to a friend.  "My mom won't let me" is always a good excuse.

That said, around that age I started sneaking books that my parents wouldn't have approved of.  In my opinion, it's one thing to sneak, it's another for your mother to approve of things that are not age-appropriate.  Probably not a popular opinion.

Date Posted: 8/29/2007 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Oh believe me Lydia it has been drilled into her head to always use me as an excuse.  She loves that option.  I'm just not ready for her to read books about boy/girl relationships at the age of 11.  I did order one that Sam recommended and I will read it before I hand it over to her.   I asked her to try my Nancy Drew books and she finds them corny.  How sad is that.  Maybe just waving to Ned isn't enough in this day and age.  AAAAAHHHHHHH.

Date Posted: 8/29/2007 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 169
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It is really hard.  Things we experienced at 15, they are experiencing as early as 10!  My oldest is 7 and she is already all dreamy over the boys on High School Musical!

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 3:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2007
Posts: 285
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OMG i cant believe this is what i have to look forward too lol. I have 2 daughters, one is 5 and one is almost 6 months so we are still reading dr suess and things like that i have a bit to go. Thinking back i do believe at 11 we still thought boys had cooties lol

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 269
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If parents think that by telling kids they don't want them to read something they won't they need to rethink that.  If all her other friends are reading it she may just read it at school.  At least if I know she is reading it I can read it also and then talk to her about it.

I have two daughters 11 & 13 - the 11 year old likes more of the sci fi/fantasy books like Eldest, Harry Potter etc (right now she is reading Wicked)... and my other daughter reads the teen books like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging.  Sometimes the 13 year old will start a book and think its too old for her and put it away...she says she isn't ready to read it yet.  Other times she reads it and asks questions along the way....Its definately an easy way to start a discussion and talk about things. 

Both of them read on an advanced level so the books that are technically for thier age are boring to them.  Unfortunately some of the one's for older teens lead to interesting discussions.  But at least they are comfortable asking!  I have to say I'm much happier that the one likes the sci fi/ fantasy books - you don't run into the same issues.