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Fantastic teen fiction does exist

Fantastic teen fiction does exist

by Jon Dykstra | March 03, 2017

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Today’s library is very different from the one we all grew up with, and nowhere is that difference more noticeable than in the teen section. Even in my small, 99 percent Christian, town the teen section is filled with books that would have made my grandma blush – fiction and non-fiction in which teen sex, drug use, cutting, homosexuality, transgenderism, or atheism play a prominent part. And I’ve lost count of all the novels featuring vampires, werewolves and witches.

Some of this is dangerous, and some of it just dumb. But in either case, there are better novels out there. Here is the first in a series of four suggestions that are not just safe, but super – these are really good reads!

This is Cinderella reimagined, with all the famous bits altered but included: it has the carriage (but it was never a pumpkin), the slipper (but not made of glass), the ball, (but now it’s more of a jousting tournament), and the fairy godmother role (though she not a fairy or a godmother). Author Melanie Dickerson gives new life to the story by taking the magic out of it, bringing in an additional villain, and making the key characters sincere Christians.

My only reservation would be one I have for all romance literature: they celebrate just the one stage of love – the beginning – to the exclusion of all that comes afterwards. But “afterwards” is very important, so if a teen girl ingests too many books about ball-attending, sword-fighting, head-turning Prince Charmings, she may well overlook that fellow right in front of her – the Bible-believing, hardworking, diaper-changing ordinary Joe. So while the occasional romance novel isn’t a problem, these aren’t the sort of books that should be ingested one after another.

Dickerson does a good job of keeping us wondering what new twists and turns she is going to add to this familiar tale. It is definitely aimed at teen girls with a little too much angst for anyone over 18. But adults could enjoy this as a nice light read too.

Jon Dykstra blogs on books at ReallyGoodReads.com.

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