Lately, I'm noticing a lot of parents and other gift-givers looking for something light and enjoyable to give to the young readers in their lives. Take today:
-A set of parents unaccompanied by their children asked me to direct them toward Captain Underpants.
-An aunt who seemed to know her nieces and nephews well was delighted to find The Fashion Disaster That Changed My Life for a fashion-oriented preteen.
-Two parents of normally-somewhat-reluctant readers--one an elementary-aged girl, one a preteen boy--came with a question that's gotten super-common: "What would you recommend for someone who loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid?" One walked away with The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, the other with Big Nate: In a Class by Himself. (The fact that it's not obvious which was which says something to me about the wide appeal of semi-graphic novels.)
And you know what? I wouldn't call any of the above books cringe-worthy, junk, or teeny-trash. There's a place for that kind of book, too, but isn't it nice that so many books with plot and character development, books that don't treat anyone as an idiot or a sex object, have found ways to appeal to kids who just want something fun to read?
I guess I'm still Thanksblogging a bit, December or not. So sue me.