Books intended for teens are often scrutinized by "gatekeepers"—teachers, librarians, parents, and other concerned adults—to ensure that the subject matter is appropriate for young adults and/or to protect them from information they believe is harmful. But does filtering teens' reading always serve its intended purpose?
Check out Niki's opinion on the subject in Role Models, her essay in Flirtin' With The Monster.
After reading Ellen Hopkins' popular novels Crank and Glass, about a meth-addicted teen named Kristina, Leah Wilson of BenBella Books asked Ellen to consider doing a non-fiction companion book to the two novels, which were based on Ellen's real-life daughter. After reading both Ellen and Niki's stories in Breaking Up (Is Hard To Do), Leah asked Niki if she'd consider contributing an essay. Of course, Niki said yes. (Fun tidbit: Author Terri Clark also has stories in both Breaking Up and Flirtin' With The Monster.)
Teresa Schauer, a librarian whose popular blog covers current teen books, concluded her review with, "This is a fantastic book—fans of CRANK and GLASS will be drawn to it, and will have a hard time putting it down from the time they open it, until the last page is read."
If you're a teacher, librarian, or run a teen book group, be sure to visit the TeenLibris website page dedicated to Flirtin' With The Monster. You'll find downloadable lesson plans, discussion questions, and a form for discount classroom orders.