One Mom’s Wish

As the mother of a reluctant reader, I find myself scouring online lists of the “Best Books for YA” for THE book that will hook my daughter. Anna is almost 14 and doesn’t quite like her mom’s recommendations, so I am grateful to her friends and teachers who help her occasionally find that book that affects her deeply and compels her to read more…at least for a little while. The last book that she loved was Wonder by R.J. Palacio and it is the only book I’ve ever seen her reread.

I have to admit that I am finding it harder and harder to find books for Anna’s age group that I would want her to read. Reading the blurbs for many of the recommended titles makes me question why so many books for middle and high school students are so depressing and seemingly hopeless. Perhaps, if I actually read some of the titles, I’d find that there is some redemptive quality to them, but I have always found it hard to read a deeply sad book and I find it even more difficult now. I want my daughter to read exhilarating books that inspire her and help her look at her world in positive, hopeful ways.

I will continue to search for books that I hope will catch my daughter’s attention and will help her see the world through hopeful eyes. It may not be what’s popular, but I truly believe it is exactly what our children need now.

7 thoughts on “One Mom’s Wish

  1. Hooray, Lynn! You made it! This post raises some big questions. I’ve actually been thinking about something similar connecting to Our PD this week and following up with fifth grade. Those kids love heavy heavy books. Let’s talk more about this. I’ll also be on the lookout for a hopeful book for your daughter.


  2. “I want my daughter to read exhilarating books that inspire her and help her look at her world in positive, hopeful ways…” yes, you’re well on the way and so is she. You’re her greatest reading asset. Keep at it …


  3. I’ve scoured my brain for hopeful books that a fourteen year old reluctant reader might enjoy – How about One for the Murphys, Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer, Lions of Little Rock by Kristine Levine, or Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan? Also would she read a novel in verse? How about Reaching for Sun or 42 Miles both by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton, or Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes? I’m with you on the search for hopeful books!


  4. YAY Lynn! So happy to be reading your work! I need to check in with my 12 and 16 year old for their recommendations! I do know One For the Murphy’s was loved by the readers here! Thanks for sharing your quest in a slice!


  5. Welcome to SOLC! I think the mother/teacher role is such a hard one to balance, especially with teenagers! Of course she doesn’t embrace your book suggestions. It’s SO hard. I agree with you that so many of the books being recommended are sad and dark….too sad and dark for most 14 year olds. Does she like fantasy? Maybe a fantasy series? Maybe you just need to find someone else to make the recommendations!


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