5.26.2006

How I Paid for College

How I Paid for College : A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater, by Marc Acito.

I can't belive I read a book that is on the Teen's Top Ten 2005. I didn't realize it was written for teens when I snagged it from the multi-family garage sale at my house! As a parent of little kids, I also can't believe how far our teens have come. It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Do I laugh and celebrate that teens of today (I sound like Walter Cronkite) read and think about gender identity issues and have humorous, positive books that let them know that it's ok to be confused? Or should I worry that our teens are reading about realtively normal teenagers having many sexual encounters in a very positive and upbeat way, without any mention of birth control, STD's or pregnancy?

I liked the book. It was silly, funny and easy to read (duh, I was not the intended audience). The characters had depth, moral dilemas and real-life issues that they confronted, or didn't. They were complex. My teenage years were spent alternately reading romances, and thrillers (Judy Blume, Stephen King (I stayed away from King's real horror books, and read more of his short stories and, of course, The Stand) , John Le Carre, Ken Follet, Robert Ludlum). I don't remember having books to read at my level of interest (bookworm) that had teenagers. None of them dealt with sex and gender issues, which both confused me a great deal.

I'm proud of our teenagers. It's an f-ed up world and they are facing issues at earlier and earlier ages. So many people treat them as idiots. I think they can and do handle a lot, just a little more dramatically than we do. A little expression is good for the soul.

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