Reflections for Week 2 on what it is/was like to be a tween

What are the titles that are popular with the tweens you see/work with?
I have my own tweens: They love Harry Potter, the Benedict Society, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Lightning Thief), Warriors by Erin Hunter, A Little Princess, A Wrinkle in Time, the Cronus Chronicles. I see lots of books on vampires and about girls’ school predicaments in the reading section at Barnes and Noble.
What are the activities, issues, etc. that are popular with tweens?
For my daughter, age 9, almost 10, reading, hanging out with friends, sleep overs, writing and drawing, working on her websites, emailing her friends. Her issue: the environment. For my son, 14 1/2, hanging out with friends, playing computer games with or without friends, texting on his cell phone, going to theme parks to ride all the fastest rides, snowboarding in terrain parks.
What titles do you see marketed in bookstores? online? have buzz?
Why do you think these items and activities are popular?
Tweens are very social. They seem to care alot about what other kids think of them. They don’t seem to care so much about what teachers or parents or other adults think of them. Some are still polite, some are quite rude to many adults. My son and his friends are on their phones while we are out at a restaurant and take pictures of each other with their phones. He wants the latest technology, like the Droid he got for his graduation from Middle School. When I try to talk with him, the answers are generally monosyllabic or one sentence. On the other hand, my 9 year old daughter constantly wants approval, is very sweet to adults and her friends. She is suddenly very hungry all the time. My son and his friends eat us out of house and home.
I enjoyed reading Chapter 2 in the book Serving Young Teens and ‘Tweens edited by Shiela Anderson. I am definitely going to make use of her suggested non-fiction resources starting on page 37. I picked up the book It’s Natural off the juvenile shelf in my local library this afternoon and leafed through. I already gave my 14 year old several books on puberty when he was about 12, including the great Our Bodies, Ourselves for Teens. But, opening It’s Natural and seeing cartoon pictures of boys with penises made me squeamish when I considered checking it out for my almost 10 year old daughter. I know it is important information (I have a Health Education teaching credential), but I think I will wait a bit longer until she asks some questions… (chicken!). Regarding electronics and internet safety, she seems quite saavy and will sometimes consult me on whether she should answer someone or not. She helps me with my computer and cell phone issues. I just let her have my old cell phone. Of course, it doesn’t have all the cool features of my son’s Droid, but it has a camera and I can now get in touch with her for after school pickups!


About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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