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Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Discussion: Reading Tatses Evolution From Kid to Adult

Shel Silverstein had a "new" book come out last week, Every Thing On It. Although he died in 1999, this is a collection of never released poems and drawings.

Without a doubt,  Shel Silverstein was my favorite writer when I was a kid.  I would read his poems over and over again, as do my kids now.  Looking back, my love of Silverstein as a kid may have something to do with my interest in more macabre literature as an adult.

This got me thinking about our taste as children and how it evolves over time into our adult reading preferences.  My 9 year old loves fantasy.  She will read anything with a strong sense of place and a touch of magic.  While she does read some more realistic fiction, I have found that it needs to be faster paced for her to enjoy it.  She also prefers contemporary realistic fiction to historic.  And, like her mom, scary reads are also high on her favorites list/ Some of her favorite writers are Shel Silverstein, Rick Riordan, and J.K. Rowling.

My 6 year old is an advanced readers and loves nonfiction.  He prefers encyclopedic tomes on topics he is interested in: Star Wars, Legos, Dinosaurs, Birds, Dolphins and Whales.  Any of the DK Eyewitness books are a favorite.  He is all about memorizing information.  When he reads fiction (with prodding) he likes a bit of mystery or adventure in his stories.  An old favorite are the Nate the Great stories and a new favorite is the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series.  He also likes Shel Silverstein quite a bit.

I wonder if their likes now will continue through to adulthood, or if they will take a different track.

Again, for me, looking back, I can see my reading tastes on a single evolutionary track beginning in childhood.  My love of Shel Silverstein's macabre and odd sense of humor led to me reading darker books as I grew.  I still love odd, macabre stories with protagonists who are interesting but not always likable.  If you think about it, this also describes Silverstein.

So, now it is your turn.  For today's Monday Discussion, tell me about your reading tastes as a kid and think about how they have evolved or changed as you grew.

For past Monday Discussions click here.

On a side note, if you are interested in the legacy of Silverstein and his other subversive children's book writers Seuss and Sendak, click here for this great essay from the NY Times Book Review.


John BPL RA said...

I liked books that had an underlying message or philosophy. The Giving Tree and The Little Prince were favorites. I also liked anything involving monsters or horror.

So my tastes are pretty much the same.

Anonymous said...


Like John, my tastes have
stayed pretty much the same.
As a kid, I read alot of history
and biographies and that still
is my favorite type of reading.
I will say I did read much more
lighthearted books growing up
than I have as an adult so that
would be the one way my tastes
have evolved