We recently welcomed a new addition into our family, a six-pound bundle of furry joy. Yes, it’s a puppy. As I have done with all of our dogs over the years, I enrolled her in puppy kindergarten class because, frankly, I need all the help I can get.
Looking around the room that first night of class, I noticed that there were the usual suspects: families with young children, a few empty-nesters, some single young women, and an older couple. But there were also a surprising number of teen girls.
What is it about a teen girl that makes her so eager to own a puppy? Could it possibly be the universal longing for unconditional love and approval during a tumultuous time? Duh! After all, puppies are always thrilled to see you, they don’t care what you wear or what grades you get, and they are never, ever critical. The funny thing is, I can relate because I was that teen girl. When I was fifteen, I convinced my parents to get me a puppy because I wanted to be understood and accepted, with no strings attached.
What does this have to do with books, you ask? Well, books are a bit like puppies because a character’s feelings and experiences can make you feel like you’re not so alone. Like your feelings don’t make you strange or a freak, they just make you… you. So, before you head to the pound to pick out that puppy for your daughter, you may want to try another form of comfort first. These books may be just what your teen needs to feel like someone gets her.
Maybe if I’d had a stack of books to make me feel empowered or understood as a teen, I would not have succumbed to the lure of puppy love. Or, maybe I would have just read the stack of books happily snuggled up with my puppy.