Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh, Sweet Valley High...

I must admit, back in the day, I was one of “those girls.” I read books that were way above my age level, the books my teachers assigned; the books my mother wanted me to read, but….I also was addicted to Sweet Valley High books. Oh and let me tell you, it was not simply the SVH books, it was the Sweet Valley Twins and the Unicorn spin-off series as well. I loved them. I didn’t care that the girls were super skinny and beautiful, drove awesome cars and were from California, while I was just an ordinary girl from Upstate New York. None of those characteristics ever affected the way I read the books; I just liked the gossipy, trashy, romancy-ness of the books and the way I could read one right after another without skipping a beat. I may never have gained an ounce of intelligence from those novels, but I certainly enjoyed them!

Random House is reprinting at least the first four books in the SVH series, much to a lot of reader’s/blogger’s dismay. I’ve read at least three posts in the last few weeks about how the text was altered to fit “today’s girls,” and it was indeed altered. The posts go one to say just how wrong that is, along with how tasteless the books are. Well the first part I agree with. The text did not need to be altered; readers probably wouldn’t have noticed to begin with, especially the part about the girl’s body sizes. Size 4 or 6, who cares, really? It’s still super tiny and not a whole lot like today’s society of young women. Oh well. Not exactly a smart move, but also nothing to burn books over. Let’s look at the Clique series if we want to see not-so-great role models for young women. The tasteless part however, I just don’t agree with. If girls are reading books, that’s great to me! I don’t love it when I see the Goosebumps series still flying off my library shelves all these years later, but kids are reading, which to me, is the truly important thing. If I can get my teen niece to read an SVH book, after not enjoying a book in years because they are all “too serious,” then by all means, I’ll buy her the entire series!

My whole point in this vent of a post is simply this: if your teens at the library are reading books, appropriate for their age of course, then I don’t really see the cause to complain about how tasteless the book content is. Goosebumps isn’t exactly intelligent material, nor are the Clique novels, nor are a whole lot of books that teens and kids read, but the kids are reading and often that takes so much effort just to begin with, I can’t possibly argue with what books they’ve chosen. I think SVH books, the newly issued copies that is, will be just as popular as the original series, if not more so due to the re-vamped cover design. I’m all for kids and teens reading great books and I always have a list of those considered “great” by librarians and bloggers. I will not, however, ever tell someone they are reading trash and that’s not to say other bloggers are doing that, I just think they were much for “offended” by the concept of SVH than I am. Vent session complete.:-)

1 comment:

Kailana said...

Honest opinion, do you think I should get these books? I was never a huge SVH fan, but, well... I sort of wouldn't mind having them. And, they have release dates for up to book 6 I believe. I have all the old ones, and I don't know...