When Parents Text: So Much Said, So Little Understood by Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli (2011)

when parentsRecommended grade level: 8 and up

Pages: 256 (for ISBN 9780761166047)

 Genre(s) and keywords: humor, nonfiction, Internet

Tone/Style: humorous, text

Pace: fast, browsable

Topics: technology, misunderstandings, generation gaps

Themes: parent/child relationships, familial love, challenges of modern communication

Summary: A collection of insanely funny texts between parents and kids, When Parents Text is a surprisingly affecting window into the complicated time when parents aren’t ready to let go, and kids aren’t ready to be let go. The parents are well-meaning but hopeless, silly and a little corny, and befuddled by the technology. The kids are bewildered yet patient: the perfect straight man. And the authors, two recent college graduates, Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli, have an unerring editorial instinct to select the funniest, sweetest, quirkiest, most-telling exchanges. (Source)

Who will like this book?: This browseable and laugh-out-loud funny collection will appeal to a wide swath of older middle schoolers. Leave it out in a place where groups of teens hang out so they can read aloud and share it.

Who won’t like this book?: Occasional mature content may give some parents pause (See Other Comments below). The humor may not work for everyone–though honestly, I can’t imagine who wouldn’t find it funny!

Other comments: The vast majority of the texts are appropriate for all ages, but there are a few instances of strong language and anatomical/sexual references. (There was at least one f-word, if I remember correctly.) Some of the mature texts may go over the kids’ heads. (I had to look up one anatomical emoticon myself.) In addition to being funny, the texts reveal a lot about family and produce some serious “aww” moments.

Sequel(s):

Readalikes: The When Parents Text website is no longer active, but readers can view an archive of texts at http://whenparentstext.tumblr.com/archive. Some other funny novelty books to try: Dog Shaming by Pascale Lemire; Damn You, Autocorrect! by Jillian Madison; Passive Aggressive Notes by Kerry Miller; and F in Exams by Richard Benson.

-Kylie

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