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I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

My fourteen year old daughter (pictured here reading "To Kill A Mockingbird") has, between Harry Potter and Twilight, been fitting in books that most of her friends are not yet reading.  She and her sisters have grown up experiencing both the books of their generation as well as books my husband and I have introduced as favorites from our youth.

We started with such classics as "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendack (all time best book to read out loud at bedtime) and then went seeking adventure with Mr. Toad in "Wind in the Willows" followed by the 'hare' raising "Watership Down". Eventually the time came to spend time with Judy Blume and the other young adult writers.

We've now reached an exciting stage in her reading interests.  We are starting to feed her suggestions of books that we loved from high school.  Last summer it was "Chrysalids" followed quickly by "To Kill A Mockingbird".  She enjoyed both books, but she specifically shared my love for "To Kill A Mockingbird".  Her review? "I heart that book".  That's tantamount to a five star review in pre-teen 'speak'.  What I loved was that she's now at an age where she can think critically about books beyond just reading them for pleasure.  She was able to connect that both books had similar themes and spoke to, among other things, how we fear what we don't understand or what is different.

Although I find myself missing the days of her childhood as she speeds toward becoming an adult, I also feel terrifically proud to see her becoming an intelligent and relatively well-read young woman.


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