Monday, April 28, 2008

Teen Spaces


Over the weekend, I was in the library looking at new YA titles. The part of the library was called Teen Zone, a space separate from the rest of the library. An older woman walked by and asked me why this fiction was separated from the rest of the fiction. "I think the topics are different," I shrugged. She clearly disapproved of the expansive area given over to teenage themed fiction. "There's a children's section over there," she pointed out. I nodded, not wanting to get into an argument since I already live with teens and argue too much. I didn't think of the woman again until this morning at breakfast.
My nine year old enthusiatically confided details of her imminent plans: planting a strawberry patch, scattering seeds on a barren patch by our house to create a wildflower garden, a trip she wants to plan to the zoo, and because she is still a kid, she informed me that she may (or may not) pen a novel. Lovely. Then, because I was in a good mood, I went in to talk to my sixteen year old. He is not a kid so I try to be in a good mood when I talk to him. I figure that way I won't grit my teeth quite so visibly. Of course, his door is locked, the music is blaring, and he doesn't answer my knock. "Christopher!" I holler. The cats run for cover. The dog raises her head. I pound on the door. "Did you die in there?" When he finally opens the door, he stands silently and glares."Why didn't you answer?" I ask. He yawns. "'Cause I knew it was you."
I mention how getting him to open the door is like goading the troll under the bridge, only it's more like a troll glued to the Internet.
"Huh." He half closes the door.
"I'm wondering what you have planned since you have three days off." He shuts the door. I hear the distinct click of a lock.
Teen Space. Different from kid space. Completely. And not just in the library.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't see a seperation between kids and teens really. Teens are still kids, no?

john millner said...

This is John,btw. I didn't realize
that would appear anonymously.

Anne Spollen said...

No, I don't believe they are, John. Not in the "kid" sense of the word. They drive, they're sexual, they hold jobs, and are usually a lot more serious (the angst, remember?)
And I meant this in the sense of topics. A 9 year old can read about the adventures of a fairy without ? whereas a 15 year old would require some convincing...