Today is Child #1's (a.k.a. Cheesemonkey's) thirteenth birthday.
Yep, I now have a bona fide teenager living beneath my roof. Kinda scary ... though so far, he's looking as though he'll be a pretty low-stress teenager. Low stress for my husband and me, that is. Child #2 could be a little more challenging when he hits his teens (he's the one who, earlier this year, informed me he's going to take a year off - a "gap year" - between high school and whatever he does next. Hello? You're only in 5th grade, honey, a bit early to be planning "my life as a bum"!) And Child #3? Well, she's only seven, but she's one dynamo of a kid and I have no doubt she will do something spectacular with her life. The only problem is, I know it will come at the cost of my own sanity.
But I digress ...
All that Child #1 wanted for his birthday was a Kindle, and that's what he got. Consequently, we've been talking books - what he reads, what he likes. Books such as The Hunger Games and Christopher Paolini's Inheritance series, and anything by Terry Pratchett. He's also a big fan of Scott Westerfeld, and has made his way through Tolkein's The Hobbit and all the The Lord of The Rings books.
Frank Herbert's Dune series and Isaac Asimov's books fill out the substantial fantasy and sci-fi collection on his shelves, as do Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea novels and a bunch of Neil Gaiman's offerings.
He also enjoys Tintin comics, and an Asterix and Obelix or two.
I'm afraid - no, scratch that - GLAD he's not at all into the Twilight books. He did give the first one a try. His conclusion?
"That story is just SO dumb."
I've been trying to remember what I was reading when I was thirteen. It's a bit of a stretch for the old memory, but I'm fairly certain that was the age I became hooked on the Trixie Belden series. Oh my. I remember, so well, saving up my pocket money to buy each new instalment, and that feeling of holding the next book in my hands, knowing that very soon, I'd once more be sinking into the world of Trixie Belden, girl detective .. sigh.
I was thirteen when I discovered Judy Blume's Forever and Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, and when I first cracked open some of the more "serious" leather-bound books on my parents' shelves - Mutiny on the Caine, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights. I can vividly remember devouring Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe one long, wet Sunday, too.
Thirteen was the age I began to dip into fantasy and sci-fi in the form of Anne McCaffrey's Pern series and Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama. And not long after, Anne Rice and her non-sparkling vampires, and Stephen King and his gloriously creepy imagination, well and truly hooked me ...
I guess I started off much as I have remained - an eclectic reader. I'll give most books a go, no matter the genre, because I truly believe great stories are to be found everywhere.
So how about you? What books were you reading when you were a teen? And have your tastes remained the same, or have they changed?