In the past, I’ve posted a question asking my blog followers about authors or books they read most when they are experiencing a reading slump. Because I work as a Teen Services Librarian, I try to read as much teen fiction, and teen non-fiction, as possible so I have “good” books I can recommend to the teens I am working with. However, I also read teen fiction simply because I enjoy it.
A few weeks ago I was on the local news morning show, on television not on the radio, and I passionately expressed how many people assume teen fiction is just “junk” compared to adult fiction. YET, this is not always the case. Sure, not all teen fiction is written well, but the same goes for children’s fiction and adult fiction. But the fact of the matter is, when I was a teen, which was about 12-13 years ago, I don’t remember having that much “good” teen fiction to read. I either read older children’s fiction or jumped right into adult fiction. Although I don’t have kids yet, I’m so excited about all of the books they will have to choose from as they grow up, not just as children or adults.
Ok…so I’m kind of getting off the topic I was going to talk about. As I said, a lot of times I’ll ask for opinions about good authors or books to read for when I’m on a reading slump. Rather than asking about this, I want to recommend an author that has become my “go to” when I’m in a reading slump. Although I focus 90% of my reading time on teen fiction, I do still delve into adult fiction too. When I’m in a reading slump, it seems that I just can’t get into any teen fiction, so I tend to read adult fiction. My *favorite* adult author to read when I am in a reading slump is… ::drum roll:: …
Ms. Picoult is by far one of my favorite adult authors and I’ve read a number of her books, one of the most popular all of you may have heard of or read is My Sister’s Keeper, which was made into a movie starring Cameron Diaz. Why do I like her writing so much? Ms. Picoult writes with intensity and touches on topics that are often controversial. Also, when I read Ms. Picoult’s books, I always learn something, whether it’s about a medical condition or a different way culture/way of life. For example, one of her more recent books I read was House Rules, which deals with a boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Before reading House Rules, I knew this syndrome was a form of autism, but that was pretty much all I knew about it. Yet, after reading the book, I had such a better understanding of the syndrome. This type of “learning something” from a book is always present in Ms. Picoult’s books.
Two of my favorite teen authors, Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, also often write about edgy, controversial topics for teens so it makes sense that I would enjoy Jodi Picoult’s writing as well. Most of the time people are able to get out of a reading slump by reading something sort of “light” or a “fluff” read, or so I’ve been told. But for me, it seems like I can get out of a reading slump by reading something that will take all of my attention, play up my emotions, and allow me to learn something.
In the end, this blog does focus on teen books, but I have to say…for those that want to explore books outside of the teen realm and have not already read a Jodi Picoult book, give her writing and books a try. As a side note, if you’ve seen the movie My Sister’s Keeper but have not read the book, it is definitely worth reading the book because it is quite different from the movie. If you’ve never read a book by Jodi Picoult, here are some of my favorites written by her: Handle With Care, Plain Truth, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper.