Chick Lit Gone Wild

Naomi Wolf comments on the state of popular fiction for teen girls in the New York Times:
Teenagers, or their parents, do buy the bad-girls books — the "Clique," "Gossip Girl" and "A-List" series have all sold more than a million copies. And while the tacky sex scenes in them are annoying, they aren't really the problem. The problem is a value system in which meanness rules, parents check out, conformity is everything and stressed-out adult values are presumed to be meaningful to teenagers. The books have a kitsch quality — they package corruption with a cute overlay. In the world of the "A-List" or "Clique" girl, inverting Austen (and Alcott), the rich are right and good simply by virtue of their wealth.
Stock your daughter's nightstand instead with good stories. The American Library Association provides a list of "books that don't make you blush," and the Christian Schools' Association list of Lamplighter Award books also provides wholesome options for story-hungry girls. If your daughter has already delved into popular chick lit, ask her what she thinks about the genre, what she likes, what she doesn't, and why. Read one together, out loud if she's open to it; quiet, loving parental company has immense power to reveal shallow values and bring truth into focus.

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