Some of the best books I’ve read over the last five years have been either older children’s books or books for “tweens.” I have a habit of trying to read the books my older son reads, not because I’m checking for appropriate content (some parents do this) but simply because the books he reads are so wonderful.
They tend to come in full-on series format, each one leaving you breathless, each one leading to another adventure. While many adult works of fiction do this, it’s less common and to tell you the truth, I’m not a huge mystery fan, which is where you find the juiciest series writing for adults.
I don’t read this type of fiction exclusively, of course, but when I do I find myself transported into another world, carried off by the characters and storylines, and nostalgic, in a good way, for my own youth while peering into the mind and heart of my son and his age group in a way that is almost magical.
Another benefit to reading things your children read is that you can maintain a connection with them. Reading with my children was one of my favorite parts of mothering them when they were little. As they grow and develop and spend less time “on my lap” or “by my side” I truly miss those moments of intimacy with them. They don’t want me to read to them and they certainly do not want me to sing to them (horrors!) Yet they can tolerate and happily invite me to play a computer game they are playing (which I will not because I detest them) or read a book they are reading which I do with great joy.
My son and I can chatter away about the characters in the books, reclaiming a bit of our earliest relationship, when books linked us and we entered a new realm together. He would rather spend time alone in his room or with friends nowadays, but as long as I can ask him for book three and call him to find out if Tom’s mom is really a lamia witch, I can still feel his heartbeat.
Aimee Boyle loves to read. She is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.