Reading Right Along

I am a reader. If I’m eating a meal alone, I’m reading. If I get a spare minute, I’m reading. I’ve even figured out a way to read while I cook, if I have to stand around just stirring a pot of something for a while.

Big Brother is the same way. But Middle Sister is really not a reader. If she gets a gift card for Barnes & Noble, she uses it to buy CDs. I’ve tried buying her books that were my favorites when I was her age. She’s not interested. Her beautiful new box set of the “Little House” series is still in the box. (My set is falling apart, and sitting on top of a bookshelf with my other treasured books from childhood).

So last week she came home from school with a book a friend had lent her: The Clique by Lisa Harrison. She left it here when she went to a sleepover at BFF’s house, and I was curious about what she’s reading, so I read it. It didn’t take long.

While there was nothing in there that’s inappropriate for a girl her age, it wasn’t my favorite kind of book. Mostly that’s because the characters weren’t my favorite kind of people. The girls in this book are 7th-Grade Snobs. They are rude, catty, and mean. They are materialistic and selfish. Every once in a while one of them has a vulnerable moment, but those are few and far between.

This is not my world, and it’s not my daughter’s world. Until Christmas Eve last year, I had never heard of Hollister. A relative at the party told me that she had given Middle Sister a Hollister t-shirt. I just stared at her with a blank look on my face and said, “What’s a Hollister?” I think she was amazed that a parent of an almost-12-year-old had never heard of it. Well, I won’t shop there. They’re part of Abercrombie, and their website (and the outside of the store) is no better than Abercrombie. Plus–$25 for a t-shirt that’s thinner than my antiviral Kleenex? As my mom would say, you could spit through those shirts.

Anyway, I guess I don’t mind if Middle Sister is entertained by these books, but I certainly hope she doesn’t ever act like any of the people in them. One of the things I love best about her is her loving and caring nature. That’s not something displayed by any of the girls in these books.

I’m reading the whole stack, in case she wants to discuss them. I wonder what she thinks of these girls. I wonder if she is tormented at school by anyone like them.

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