Picking your brains........

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by timer lady, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    ktbug has been doing some pretty serious writing of late. Unfortunately, when she left her notebook out in the middle of the island I got an eyeful of her "prose". I was more that a little disgusted.

    I confronted kt with this & of course, she flipped out. In a big way. Mostly I wanted to get the self respect & boundary issues down once again.

    Having said that ..... I'm looking for ideas on the classic love stories. All that comes to mind for me are the Bronte' sisters. Jane Eyre was a book I must have read a dozen times.

    If you have any other ideas, I'd appreciate your input. I'm quite near brain dead here. :)
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    You can't get much more classic love story than Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Both the recent film with Kiera Knightly and the 1995 BBC production have made it more hip among teen girls.

    If you're looking for safe romances, you might look to the Christian fiction genre. Jannette Oke is very popular and while the God stuff is present, it's subtley done. The Love Comes Softly series has been adapted to film.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If she's into bodice-rippers, you could always get some Barbara Cartlands for her. They're basic "pills and booze" (Aussie euphemism for romance publishers Mills & Boone) but the girl is ALWAYS a virgin until the wedding night. Although in my opinion you do need to be either very young or a certain level of brain dead to read too many of these. I have had my moments when they were all I could handle... but watch out for romance novels in general, they can get a bit rough.

    The thing these days is to be fairly graphic, unfortunately.

    Other thoughts - L M Montgomery's books might be good for her. I wouldn't discourage her writing, it's a tricky one.

    An author I can heartily recommend as being stimulating for a budding writer as well as very entertaining, but very clean (apart from mentions of muck, etc) is Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" books. You'd probably enjoy them too. A good one to start with would be "The Truth" (about the first newspaper on the Discworld) and "Soul Music", about a rock band and commercialism. The books have magic in them as well as politics but are very entertaining.
    Or the witches ones - "Wyrd Sisters" which is like Macbeth but form the witches' point of view, followed by a couple of other books on a different theme.
    Or books written for children - I would really recommend the Tiffany books (also set on Discworld) because Tiffany is a little girl with a different way of looking at the world. She has a little brother who she doesn't like very much because he's so sticky. But when the Queen of the fairies kidnaps her brother, Tiffany goes after him. He's HER brother, he doesn't belong to anyone else. Besides, their mother is crying...
    There are three books already in the Tiffany series, each book stands alone but follows well from the previous one.

    It's similar to Harry Potter, but not so bleak I don't think, and far more intelligent. And at times very funny.
    There is a scene in the first book where Tiffany goes to a fair to buy some intelligence. She asks to learn something about palaeontology and the travelling teacher says to her, "Now THAT's a big word for a little girl."
    Tiffany replies, "Not really. 'Patronising' - THAT is a much bigger word."

    I always made a point of reading the books my kids were reading, so I could discuss the books with them. Even if I didn't like the books, I did my best to read them so I could discuss the books. If I didn't like the morality I said so, but the deal was, we discuss the literary merit of the books and often the morality isn't as relevant. A book can be highly moral and badly written; or brilliantly written but very immoral. For example, "Story of O" is beautifully written but I just can't accept the level of female subjugation in it, I find it immoral.

    Good luck with this one.

  4. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    A really good series of books that have also been recently made into a movie is:

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

    Girls are the main characters and it's contemporary. It has some romance, but in a innocent way. However, the focus is more on the relationships between the four female characters. All the teens, and parents, that have read these, love them.

    I do read teen novels because there is a lot of really good stuff out there. However, I do tend to go for more serious, edgy stuff.

    However, I did read this series-The Uglies by: Scott Westerfeld and Rodrigo Corral. It set in the future when everyone at the age of 16 gets transformed by surgery to become a "pretty". In fact, that is the name of the second book: The Pretties. There's a third book called: The Specials

    The romance is very light in the book with nothing explicit at all. There's mostly crushes. It explores the idea of segregation (uglies and pretties live separately and may not mingle), what is beauty, and living in a society where your future is already decided. Plus, the heroine is a strong and smart female.

    It may not be right for KT now, but a few years, it's an option.

    Amazon also has some lists on teen romance made by readers.

    Also, another suggestion, call your local middle school, and high school, librarians. They are a really good resource for suggestions. That is their specialty and it doesn't matter if KT isn't a student there. Just explain what you are looking for.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great idea, Dazed.

    I'd recommend Nicholas Sparks' books. (Especially that a guy writes such romantic pieces.) He's the author of A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, and The Wedding.
    He's got a bit of sex, but it's all in context, plus, he's all into relationships and the confusion and angst, which she would probably get into.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Remember-Nicholas-Sparks/dp/0446608955"]Amazon.com: A Walk to Remember: Nicholas Sparks: Books[/ame]
  6. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I love the Janette Oke books. They do have a Christian theme but are very much in the lines of Little House only slightly older. I am sitting here trying to look at my shelf....

    I found a few. Catherine, called Birdy by Cushman. Boston Jane by Holm. And the books by Fances Hodgson Burnett like A Little Princess and Secret Garden.

    easy child just recently decided that she likes Pride and Prejudice and they have a new one that goes with that by someone else from Mr. Darcy's perspective. Wish I were closer I would lend you some and let her try them.

    Also, easy child started writing some really dark poetry so I picked up some books from Emily Dickenson and Edgar Allan Poe. Not sure what KT can handle but just some ideas.

  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    What is she reading now? What authors?

    On a side note -
    difficult child used to write and draw the most violent stuff, and it used to upset the tar out of me.........but I also saw it as a huge release for him. I limited all violence from tv and music..........and it made not a bit of difference, the drama was inside of him, not given to him by his media. His teachers repeatedly freaked out that he was going to "act on his drawings", and probably rightly so - but what they did not understand is that he was just trying to release what was already inside of him.

    I am not sure there is much we can do about a girl or boy fantasizing? To me the important thing is that they are not acting on it. But perhaps I am wrong.
  8. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I loved Catherine, Called Birdy! Great suggestion! A newberry honor book.

    And, like, totally, duh! I just finished reading Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, also a newberry honor book, just a few days ago. Another great read with a girl heroine. The main character does have a crush, but no hanky-panky.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Thank you ladies ~ great suggestions. Some of the books I hadn't heard of. The Sisterhood series - kt has a few but I don't believe she's finished one of them.

    I had considered Sparks - he's still under consideration.

    I'm just looking for books that point out the importance of building & maintaining a healthy relationship before the physical relationship comes into play. My kt needs this concept pounded into her pretty little head.

    I'm taking notes & looking at ordering some of these books for Christmas. I'll also check in with the librarian this weekend.

    Again, thank you - I know I can always find new ideas from you all.
  10. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Gone With the Wind
    Little Women
  11. terryboberry

    terryboberry New Member

    I work in a middle school and over the summer try to read some of the books that they are reading. I have become a TWILIGHT series ADDICT! Really! It's a wonderful set of books and is a huge popular hit, much like the Harry Potter series. A blockbuster movie from the 1st book is coming out in December.

    This sounds weird, but they are about a young girl who falls in love with a vampire. They can't really be together because... well... he's a teenage vampire. These books are very much love stories written from a girl's perspective and are appropriate for middle school girls. They aren't "goth" or dark. My women friends (40-50 years old) are all reading them too, because they are romantic without the sex, and then talking about them with their daughters.

    Ask your librarian or bookstore seller about them. See how they describe them and see if they will match what you want for your daughter. TWILGHT books - hugely popular right now and very, very romantic. I also read the Pretties series and I liked them...but no other book can top these in my opinion!
  12. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I've heard abou the twlight series also. I've heard their great. However, I know of one middle school librarian who says the fourth, and latest, book does get more explicit, so she won't be carrying it in her school library.
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Word of warning: some of the modern sequels to Austen's novels are pretty racy. I was browsing one in the bookstore last year and got quite a shock! Ditto with the fan fiction.