Zero by Tom Leveen

Between the underage drinking and premarital sex, not to mention the foul language, I am pretty sure some people out there will have beef with this book.  But, as someone who works with teens and who still vividly recalls her own teen years, I was impressed by Tom Leveen’s unflinching honesty.  While I recognize that not all teens are angsty/artistic types who enjoy the punk music scene, I think all teens can gain a little perspective by reading about Amanda (a.k.a. Zero) and her experiences in the summer after high school graduation.  After all, most (if not all) teens will have a major fight with a friend, have a crush/fall in love, and argue with their parents.  So what if they learn a bad word or two!  So what if they read about someone getting drunk or having sex!  Most of these things will come up in the “real world” anyway — and, as both a parent and a Tween & Teen Librarian, I would much rather “my” teens have their negative experiences vicariously through a book.  This way, at least, they can learn the lessons and then put the heartache back on the shelf.

Happy Banned Books Week!

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