This post is in response to an article written by Mindy Hung that was posted on Bitch Magazine's online website: http://bitchmagazine.org/article/hitting-the-small-time
The funny thing about this article is that Alec Greven was someone I saw on the Ellen show… I eventually reviewed his books, How to Talk to Girls, How to Talk to Moms and How to Talk to Dads, for the tween audience on my other blog. I can easily see how the media's attention to these kids has escalated their fame… I mean who can resist, right?
The portion of the article that comments about adults perception of the skills that tweens and children are supposed to have floors me… I mean, really? Why can't the kid be able to cook? Or why can't he/she be able to write a book? The era of "The Kids Say the Darndest Things" is kind of over…and we should know by now to respect the talents of our youth, even if we are surprised by it.
I found it very interesting at the push that boys receive by adults to cultivate their talents. It made me think of how possibly society shelters girls more than boys and how it could all be simply because adults believe that girls couldn’t handle the emotional roller coaster that comes with fame.
The one thing that I didn’t like in the article was the section about how girls were overlooked when it came to choosing students to go into gifted programs. In second grade, I made the local newspaper for my high California Achievement Test (CAT) scores and was put into a different school, which offered advanced classes. From a personal perspective, I don't see that to be true – there were a lot of girls in the classes with me… could it be based on where in the US we are? Up here in Washington State might be different… are rural kids more/less sheltered than suburban ones?
Overall, I think that at this stage in their lives, tweens should be pushed to explore the talents that they have. This is where librarians can help by steering young patrons to the right materials to help them figure out who they are. They shouldn't be held back by some fear that they will get hurt on their journey. Let's face it – LIFE HURTS, suck it up.
Hung, M. (2010). Hitting the small time [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://bitchmagazine.org/article/hitting-the-small-time