What a great idea.
What would you (the adult) tell yourself (the teenager) about life, what’s to come or how to get through the tough times that might be ahead?
In DearTeen Me: authors write letters to their teen selves edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally, 70 authors do just that.
Typically, within a couple of pages we get a sense about the kind of kid the authors were, stuff about family life and school life, events and incidents that are defining moments (some good, some bad) and but mostly encouragement to just keep on truckin’.
Some of the stories are funny, poignant, or distressing. It’s real life in all its varied forms, telling us that authors are people too ; that all the moments making up life contribute to who we become and look, teen-self, “You will become someone.”
I can’t say I know all the authors who’ve contributed to this volume, but here are some of the names I was drawn to: Ellen Hopkins, Joseph Bruchac, Nikki Loftin, Robin Benway, Isla Bick, Mariko Tamaki, Mitali Perkins, Jodi Meadows, Mari Mancusi, Ken Lowery, Charles Benoit and many, many more.
This is a terrific read. Pick it up, put it down, and pick it up again and again. The stories always engaged me.
Recommended for grades 9 and up.