Anderson, E. Kristin, and Miranda Kenneally, eds. Dear Teen Me. San Francisco: Zest Books, 2012. Print.
image from: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12479640-dear-teen-me
I'd been hearing about this book, so I ordered one for the library. A few kids checked it out, but it didn't fly off the shelf like I hoped. At TLA this year, I bought myself a copy since I could get it signed by E. Kristin Anderson (yep, this is one I didn't give away to my students). So, it has been on my "summer reading" stack. Now that I've read it, I can book talk it and more kids will read it. I have some in mind that I want to make sure they do!
This book is a collection of letters that various authors are writing to themselves. I noticed two things: many of the authors have Texas connections (yea!), and I felt like I was reading my own past. It amazed me how many similar situations these authors had with my own teenage years. If I could craft a letter to my teenage self, I would include some of the same advice these writers did. This book really made me think about my teenage years. What would I do or not do? How would I take those "lessons" and live through them when it seemed impossible at the time? I kept thinking about people I shared the hallways and classrooms with that I never really knew, and how unfortunate that is. I kept thinking of my best friends in high school and how we leaned on each other through those trying years (and some of them are still best friends!).
I liked that some of these writers I've never heard of, but I shared their stories. I was surprised by a few writers that I did know (Ellen Hopkins' story was unexpected.) and enjoyed getting a better glimpse into their personal lives. I liked the pictures because they mostly looked familiar, too.
As an adult reader, who thankfully survived the teenage years, I could appreciate this book.
For a teen, I think this book gives hope. I can't wait to share it with them (and I might be buying a few copies for some friends to relive their teen years).
As I finished the book, I found out there is a "Dear Teen Me" blog. Yep, I've started following that, too.