Writing to our younger, naive selves with words of wisdom? It’s a simple concept that’s presented brilliantly on DearTeenMe.com and in the paperback anthology Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books, October 2012), edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally.
Big name YA authors address their teenage versions on a breadth of topics, in a range of tones and formats: Dave Roman creates a comic strip; Robin Benway compiles a funny list of “9 Things You Need to Know” (e.g. “You need to let your bangs grow out. I’m serious.”); Kekla Magoon relates her biracial heritage and bisexuality to her teenage need for fitting in; Ellen Hopkins summarizes the differences between her then-skewed self-perception and reality; and Sara Zarr asks herself “What is a friend?” Both a browsable compilation and a readable page-turner, this book has an audience with everyone — adults will laugh, relate, and mourn their own adolescent confusion; teens will find much to learn about themselves, their peers, and what being older and wiser is all about. And it will almost certainly inspire everybody to follow suit and draft a letter of their own.
Pick up a copy on October 30 and head to the blog in the meantime.