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Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves
by Miranda Kenneally (Editor), E. Kristin Anderson (Editor)
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Most of these authors I never heard of. Many appear to be recently published or about to be. But it includes Joseph Bruchac and Cynthia Letich-Smith who wrote profoundly affecting letters. Many of the letters are heartbreaking and even tragic, some are funny, but they are all hopeful. Basic message: It gets better, hang in there, kid, you'll be fine. I can see this book inspiring writing assignments for teens and adults alike. ( )
I love the premise of this anthology. Well known, and not so well known, Young Adult authors write letters (including some comic strips) to their teen selves with photographs from their younger days. In their writings they remember loves won and lost, bully troubles, weight struggles, suicidal thoughts, fears of coming out, physical, mental and emotional abuse, as well as other hurts and indignities suffered by their teen selves.
Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/dear-teen-me-authors-write-le...
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Dear Teen Me edited by E. Kristen Anderson is a collection of letters written by young adult authors to their teenage selves.
I suppose the point of such an exercise is to show struggling teenagers that things will get better. But it makes me wonder if there might be a disjoint between the audience and the messenger, especially when the people writing are now successful or famous.
On its most basic level these are little pep talks. They talk of an embarrassing event, or unfounded but universal fears of adolescence. The message over and over is "I went through that too and look at me now!"
What I'd like to see an an anthology like this written by adults who aren't famous. It would be nice to see the views from other adult walks of life, career paths, and what not.
Opinion: The popularity makes sense because it's non-fiction. I wouldn't think most teens browse this section so it's more likely to be suggested via a friend. The quality is amazing. Of course it is because it's stories from multiple award winning authors. Editing is spot on with merging the stories in a way that keeps the reader drawn in, while still having light moments mixed in with the heavy ones.
Review: I love this book. The writing is great (as are the drawings). The collection makes sense and it doesn't clump topics together. I also appreciate how some letters are simple and don't contain deeply touching messages other than you're awesome.
I checked out this book to read the Sara Zarr letter. Each letter is short and easy to read. Enjoyable, not life alterting but I enjoyed the ones I read.
"How many times have you looked back on your teenage years and cringed, wishing you could offer your younger self some guidance? This book of nearly 70 letters by top young adult authors -- including bestselling writers Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder -- does just that, and today's teens will benefit." --Publisher's website.
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Miranda Kenneally's book Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)816.608035Literature English (North America) American letters 21st Century
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An edition of this book was published by Zest Books.