Last night my neighbor asked me about summer selections for reading for her 15 year old grandson. He has a school suggested list with 2 books required. I have no experience in what teens read, but I was surprised by the list. Seemed awfully mature (and depressing). One was Killer Angels, an historical novel about the Civil War and is used in military schools; another was The Help, about black women who worked as household help in the South of the early 60s, but the narrator is white. The last runaway--an English woman and the underground railroad—which my book club read this year. I read a lot as a teen--mostly historical fiction, but probably not what adults suggested.
So I checked the Internet for summer reading lists. Although there were a few classics, many I found disturbing. Like the one about a boy who lives in a homeless shelter with his spaced out mother because dad is in prison; a 5 year old growing up in 1 room because his mother has been held prisoner for 7 years (like the Cleveland story); Devil in the White City (scariest book I've ever read). But then, Les Miserables and Uncle Tom's Cabin (also on the list) aren't a walk in the park
What are your children/grandchildren reading this summer?