From falling in love with Prince Charming to falling in love with Vampires, such is the transition of books for little girls through to books for teenage girls, or so it seems. Love, romance and perfect happily ever afters (albeit after a degree of struggle) makes for a rollicking good read but are these books doing our teenage girls more harm than good?books for teen girls is one of the authority sites on this topic.
With relentless images of the perfect woman and her perfect man living their perfect lives blasted throughout the media there is little wonder our young women are feeling the immense pressure of measuring up to society’s expectations. Add to this the plethora of books for teenage girls which also bang on this ‘idyllic life’ drum and I am starting to wonder if the concept of normality is being dangerously skewed into an unobtainable, unrealistic fairytale.
Literature is a brilliant medium for teaching as well as entertaining. Ancient civilizations used stories in the form of myths and legends to pass on wisdom. In today’s world the teen years can be confusing and awkward and I particularly believe there are too few books for teenage girls which deal with the hard hitting issues that many face. Books which shine a light on the subjects which people don’t like to talk about but need to be addressed.
Let’s face it, not talking about something doesn’t make it go away it just adds to the isolation of those who are experiencing it. Putting ‘real life’ experiences into stories provides an opportunity to break down barriers and start meaningful dialogues. Dialogues which can lead to finding solutions.
Now I’m not suggesting that we lay bare the problems of the world with scaremongering tactics or tales of doom and gloom. I’m suggesting that books with a dose of realism are offered as an alternative to fantasy and that we start getting real about the types of books we offer the teen reader.
So what sort of story lines am I talking about?
Well, I’d like more books which address the issues young people face with being gay, teen pregnancy, coping with an abusive home life or being in an abusive relationship. I’d like to see story lines which highlight the problems associated with social drug taking or binge drinking as well as books which tackle topics like teen depression, teen suicide or coping with crack-head parents. In other words issues and options for possible solutions wrapped into stories about characters teens can relate to.