Serving Young Teens and ‘Tweens by Sheila B. Anderson talks about how tweens are going through a lot at this stage in their lives. This is also a time when they begin to pull away from their parents, for this entry we will say they pull away from their parents as a source of information (Chapter 2, 2007). That is why it is important for them to have other resources to get the information they need. This can sometimes make parents uncomfortable. They don’t like their kids reading about tough issues. This is understandable but these issues are not going to go away. Sometimes fiction is a good way to introduce a tough issue. For instance, death can be a tricky subject at any age. But if they start off knowing that they story is not real but the events could happen it could soften the blow. Bridge to Terabithia is a great book for this purpose particularly for those that are 9 to 11.Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Jess has been working hard all summer to win the title of the “fastest boy in the fifth grade.” Little did he know that the new girl next door would change all that. Leslie wins his title in an unexpected turn of events. This links them together for the rest of one of their lives. These two band together and change the their world while creating another. Battling bullies in one and building a kingdom in another. Leslie teaches Jess to be a king and to believe in his own abilities as a person and as an artists. Jess gives her the best gift of all friendship, he stands up for her when no one else doses and excepts her for who she is.
One of these characters does die and it leaves the other devastated and detached from the world. Death can be very hard to talk about. The question of what happens after you die is brought up in this book which is bound to be a question that a tween or younger child will ask. If a parent does not feel comfortable talking about the subject then they could get books on the topic. But more importantly if a tween doesn’t feel comfortable asking a parent about this subject or another one like it, they can find the answers they are looking for. That is why it is so important that books fiction and nonfiction containing tough issues are keep on library shelves and in bookstores.