Quality literature for quality kids

Laer has a rather horrifying exposé about a hot book series called Gossip Girls. You should read his post and, if you have young girls in your house, you might want to keep a weather eye on their bookshelf, backpack and library bag. This stuff is trashy by any standards, and it’s being marketed specifically (and successfully) at your daughter and mine.

Talking to Technorati: ,

11 Responses

  1. Nice new place!!

    Thanks for the heads-up. My 14-year-old would probably grab onto them if her friends are reading them.

  2. Hmmph. This may shock you, but I don’t think there’s a fourteen year old girl alive today, except perhaps in some repressed third-world Islamic or Amish community, that hasn’t written even trashier erotic fiction herself.

    What the parents don’t know won’t hurt them, right?

  3. It’s not that this kind of stuff actually corrupts girls. Although it does do that to some extent. The real long term danger is that it will provide young girls with no strong orientation, and they will end up converting to Islam like the European girls. Which, presumably, are even more debased than America’s cowboy culture and puritanism (from a Euro perspective)

    There is not one virtue in that book. But there is in the Koran. And humanity requires virtues to be happy.

  4. Y – did you forget the s/on — s/off your comment above or are you for real?

    To BW and other parents: Reading trash never hurt anyone who has a strong family. It may be hard to believe when dealing with teenagers, but your daughters will take what they learn from you, not what they read about in books. It’s hard, but try not to panic and stay the course, you’ll like the results.

  5. Humanity doesn’t need virtues per se, it needs guidance. Virtue is one form of guidance, an internalized one that produces more predictable results, but is less capable of changing (even if it leads one into self-destructive behavior). People who do not develop virtues, even going so far as to see the development of virtues as a sin (as postmodernists are wont to believe), will instead let themselves be guided by charismatic leaders, which is one of the basic virtues of Islam… adherence to the religious decrees of whoever provides religious authority in your community.

  6. I found your new digs, Bookworm. Congratulations on making things homey, on such short notice. I almost feel like sending you a nice housewarming gift.

    Now, having looked at the “Gossip Girls” books, it appears that they’re as disturbing as you say they are . Should they find their way into my home, I’ll show them the door. Really, there’s nothing to talk about.

    Some of the previous posters discount the impact of such books on young people, and while they may be, I believe, technically correct (a family’s values can still trump an outsider’s, at least at the still-youngish age of 14-16 yrs old), such a fortunate outcome does not let the parent off the hook. Family values exert their influence because the parents modeled those values as the kids were growing up and continue to do so, as the kids mature. If that means talking with your daughter about the unhealthy lives that the “Gossip Girls” live and asking your daughter to read something else, so be it.

    And if she still wants to read the books, at night, under the covers, with a flashlight, then so be that, too.

  7. Give your kids the responsibiity of your trust. You’ll be amazed and delighted at the results.

  8. Youngest daughter (14) and I went to Borders today. She completely bypassed the “Gossip Girl” books and picked up one about a girl who feels like an outsider, but finds that she really isn’t and the sequel to Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook” called “The Wedding” (which is probably a little “old” for her, but it’s not sleaze or smut). Older daughter (16) is currently reading “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving, which she just found out is one of the books for her 12 AP English summer reading requirements. Now, if I could just get my husband to read books as well as the newspaper and computer manuals!

  9. Well, yeah, when her parents are watching, teen girls will walk right past trashy novels. Just like teen boys will pretend the Penthouse magazine rack doesn’t exist while their parents are hovering over them.

    Doesn’t mean they aren’t hiding a stash somewhere…

  10. Oh, dear. Much as I hate to say so, I think Tatterdemalian is right. I remember from when I was a girl that I craved the tawdry. Somehow those books seemed to me to hold the answer to life. Indeed, in 9th Grade, the girls were passing around a copy of Sidney Sheldon’s “The Other Side of Midnight,” a truly awful book, with some awful sex in it. Of course, that book alone may have been responsible for saving our virginity for years to come!

    However, I also read many inspiring books and those were the lessons that stuck. I’ve always liked books and movies where people improve with time, where they learn life lessons. (By the way, one of my favorites is Neville Shutes’ “A Town Like Alice.”) So, like puppies, we sample everything we see and, one hopes, get sick of and acquire a repulsion for the bad stuff, and get nutrition and pleasure from the good stuff.

  11. Somehow those books seemed to me to hold the answer to life.

    What I liked about reading books was that it described situations that I’ve never been in, and I always believed that a person should be prepared.

    To Erp, I wasn’t being sarcastic in tone. If you were refering to the /sarcasm tags, or lack thereof.

    I’m always for real, though sometimes I embelish and exaggerate my personal positions. Sometimes it is useful to stretch your personal beliefs to the logical conclusion, just to test them out. See how they feel in your mind.

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