Why I’m Reading TOUCHING THE SURFACE to My Boys

Filed under: Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I’m reading TOUCHING THE SURFACE to my three boys. Just a chapter a night. Now before you ask–my book is categorized as 14 and up and my kids are 11, 9 and almost 7. I’m not recommending SURFACE to kids under the age of 14, but my kids are in a unique circumstance. They have the author AND their mother in their bedroom at night, speaking directly to all their thoughts and questions. As always, I advocate that parents be actively involved in a book dialogue with their children. What is good for one child might be all wrong for another. Each kid is different and it is important that we know them as individuals. I know my three so I’m very comfortable. Here are some of my reasons for sharing my book with my boys.

First, they NEED to be a part of this. Their names are in the book–they LOVE that. It’s their laundry that’s been missed in the writing of this novel. It’s their mother who’s the crazy one with the voices in her head.  And the thing is–they’re so insanely proud of me–it makes me want to lasso the moon and take it for a ride.  They feel so special when they tell other people that they are reading it–I know because it comes back to me and it always makes my heart swell.

Second, I NEED them to be a part of this. I write with the same voice that I love them with. They are pretty familiar with my weird and wacky ways, my honesty, my assumption that children are continually under estimated. They KNOW me, so reading my writing is truly just understanding more of their mom. This book is some of the very best of me and I can’t imagine not sharing that with three of the most important people in my life.

Third, they are funny. It’s no secret–I have a potty mouth. The rule in our house is…you can say whatever you want when you have your own kids. Life isn’t fair and I don’t think it will hurt them to figure that out with the little things in life. They need to watch their language. Even though they’re used to me needing to be *bleeped* they seem to find it endlessly amusing when I swear while reading my book. The 9 year old actually asked me to re-read a section because he was “confused about who was speaking” only to have the almost 7 year old rat him out for wanting me to read the swear word over again. ROTFL! We had a long discussion about the authenticity of teen characters. We used their older cousins to prove the point. Now the almost 7 year old tells everyone… “yes, my mother uses curses in her book but it’s there to make the characters realistic.” My author-mama heart explodes with pride every time I hear him say that.

Fourth, they surprise me. My 11 year old interrupted our chapter one night to ask me a question about the afterlife. I proceeded to go off on a tangent where I told him how I really didn’t know what was out there etc…  His reply was… “Sheesh, I finally have the author right here in my room and I still can’t get an answer. You wrote the book–you’re supposed to know everything about it!” I smacked my head like it was a V-8 commercial. He didn’t mean the “real afterlife” just the one in my book. And I know this sounds silly, but I realized that I don’t have my mind completely wrapped around the idea that people are going to be really focused on my book–that I’m the one, the only one, who can really answer those questions. The thought of it gives me shivers.

Fifth, they satisfy me. As I’m reading–they’re responding. And they are doing it in all the right places. They get mad at me for leaving them hanging at the end of a chapter. They strongly dislike certain people and they have soft spots for others. Even more important–their reactions to the characters are changing–just the way I had hoped they would. The boys ask interesting questions–smart questions and that makes me proud of them and the book. And the cutest? I’ve actually caught them “fighting” over who would get to be who if they were playing TOUCHING THE SURFACE. I know–how cool is that???

I promise to let you know what they think of it when they’re done. How do you feel about the books that kids are reading? Should be reading? Shouldn’t be reading? How did your choice of reading material impact you when you were a kid?


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11 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. First- your kids are adorable.

    To answer your question, I think you said it right when you noted that parents should be involved with a book dialogue with their child.. The first thing I do when my son is reading a book I’m not sure about is read the book. That way I can either talk to him about the issues involved or tell him that this is a book we’ll read to him. If he’s going to be exposed to new things or things he doesn’t understand, I want to be there as his guide.

    • I think we have the same thoughts on books and kids LOL!

  2. This is so fantastic! I agree with everything you said here. Don’t underestimate kids. Talk with them about what you’re reading — have a dialog. You’re kids are so lucky to have you!

    BTW – I’m INSANELY jealous of them. I don’t want to wait until October!

    • Awwwww thanks so much. It’s so much fun to share this with them. :o)

  3. This cracks me up! I can totally envision this–a total blast. They’ll always remember this…

  4. I think it is so cool that you’re reading your book to your kids, and that they want to listen to you!

    >>“Sheesh, I finally have the author right here in my room and I still can’t get an answer. You wrote the book–you’re supposed to know everything about it!”<<

    LOL! I love it!

    You're a great mom. 🙂

    • I had a pretty good laugh at that one too!!!! Thanks <3

  5. Love it when kids get to read my mss. <333
    Lol about the author right there in the room! 🙂

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