Tweens and Teens: COVID-19 Quarantine Book Recommendations from the Plastic Picker Children
June 6, 2020
It was a heavier mood in clinic today. Mostly babies and a smattering of tweens-teens in for the well child checks and vaccines. I asked everyone through double masks and faceshield how they were doing. Most of our clinic families were staying home and avoiding the demonstrations. Since our clinic serves the diverse community of the South Bay, there was a sense of darkness that hung over us. We talked in quiet and sad voices about the state of racial politics in the United States, and one father who is black said these demonstrations are making his life more difficult. Another excuse he said for police to pull him over and harass him. But I was able to welcome a beautiful newborn baby boy to our practice, who is a beautiful amalgamation of many races including Apache. And in that beautiful baby boy I see hope. Like the half-Vulcan half-Human child of T’Pol and Trip in Star Trek Enterprise, we must celebrate IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. T’Pol in one of the final episodes was confronted by Terra Prime, the xenophobic human terrorist movement. It’s leader asked T’Pol whether she was worried that interspecies breeding would destroy the Vulcan race. T’Pol with her elegant Vulcan poise replied fiercely that Vulcans were not what they were 1 million years ago, and the only constant in change. In her words, I find hope. The same hope I see in the face of the beautiful baby today that represents IDIC (infinite diversity in infinite combinations) in my clinic.
I have previously written about the importance of quiet and imagination to help us cope with the COVID-19 quarantine https://drplasticpicker.com/star-trek-harry-potter-and-living-in-space-and-fantasy-will-help-us-raise-our-children/. Escapism when it is to a beautiful imaginary place is to be encouraged especially in light of the tensions on our country. I had my biweekly call with one of my teenagers going through relapse of an eating disorder, and I tried to engage her in conversations about books and characters. Having lived in the real world with the darkness that surrounds us, escpaing in the evening hours with a good program or a good book is to be encouraged. I promised one of my tween patients I would write this post for her. She wanted suggestions of what books to read and she told me she likes fantasy. Mr. Plastic Picker and I have been lucky in that our two children love reading, and can easily be absorbed into stories. So here it is, Dr. Plastic Picker’s children’s Book Suggestions for Tweens and Teens.
Tween Daughter’s Book Suggestions
- Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins. This series consists of three books, and a presquel. Per our daughter, the books should be read in order. She recommends the books before watching the movies. And then read the prequel afterwards. The prequel just came out a few weeks ago. Our daughter loves loves loves this series. She is rereading the series for the third time now outloud to us. We watched the last Mockingjay movie yesterday together, and I can see why she is drawn to this series.
- Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland. Our daughter said, “I picked up this series in second grade because the dragon on the cover looked cool. But didn’t even finish the first chapter back then. Then I picked it up again in mid-fifth grade and read the whole first and second set that are five books each. I was excited about the third set, and am now waiting for the fourteenth book to come out.” We just checked and book 14 will be released December 2020.
- Heros of Olympus by Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan wrote multiple series and both our son and daughter read most of them. We read out loud together Mark of Athena and a few of the others when they were younger. I enjoyed the ones I read outloud with them as well. The movies the kids did not like at all. If your children becomes interested in this series, there are many sets that will keep them occupied.
- Pegasus by Kate O’Hearn. Several books in the series. Our daughter says, “It’s about Roman mythology and the collision of the human world with the mythical world. It was a little complicated for me when I picked it up in third grade. But when I read the book in fifth grade, I really liked it.”
- City of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi. Our daughter loved this series, and I have found out that multiple pediatricians in our office are big fans too. This includes a very well respected and bibliophile pediatric gastroenterologist.
Teen Son’s Book Suggestions “commentary is verbatim with my son at the kitchen table.”
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. “It’s a good fun read. Not anything ground breaking. The series in unique in the sense that the protagonist is not good. But instead he is morally gray. It’s a fun read and you don’t need to think about it too much.”
- Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. “It is a good book. It excels the most in it’s world building. It makes it’s world seem alive and not a carbon copy of more popular fantasy books.”
That was a fun post. I delved into the series that my children love, and realized my daughter is a voracious reader. Our son used to read a lot but now I realize Mr. Plastic Picker and I need to get him back to reading a new series rather than all the programming and gaming he is doing. I’m like my father and like to bribe them with money for academics, but Mr. Plastic Picker likes their learning and actions to be motivated by intrinsic factors. Perhaps that’s why I need to blog to make changes in my life, whereas my husband just lives his life. Opposites attract for sure! Happy reading! If you ended up reading this blog and these suggestions helped at all, please let me know! Books and the rich imaginary life we cultivate are so important to this household and I hope yours as well.
I realize I blog alot about the kids and raising them. The blog helps me organize my thought processess. Here is a blog I wrote about leadership which I read outloud to them. At least they know what their mother expects of them! https://drplasticpicker.com/let-2020s-failure-be-a-reminder-for-you-you-are-a-leader-our-world-needs/