Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
Before you pass over this book because of its title please read on…
This teen novel will be released tomorrow but I was fortunate to read the first 6 chapters and it not only has me hooked due to the great writing but is challenging some of our thoughts on what we as adults share online and how it may affect others …. Yes, I did say this is a teen novel but I think all parents could read this.
Imogene, the central character, is a 15 year old in her last year before high school (it is based in America) and her best friend, Sage, have mothers who blog with very little consideration to the effect they have on their daughters’ lives. Many parents tweet, post on Facebook pictures, comments and other moments of their children’s lives, I know I have! Some people are unaware of the repercussions of this act.
“Nobody should share their life with the World Wide Web.” – Imogene (page 43)
This novel may make kids aware that some information that seems okay at the time to share may, at a later date be one that they regret. It highlights that in this world of the Internet, privacy and personal space can be violated and how even the people closest to us can be the perpetrator.
The Internet and the tools we use allow easy access to post and share information. We consistently hear how we need to be more vigilant with our teens and their access and use of technology but as this story highlights that, many adults may not have the necessary knowledge in this area or skills to ensure their information is private. How many have Facebook accounts and not checked their privacy settings are in place? I know my husband’s had nothing and so I had to rectify this on the weekend.
The Australian government have a website for kids, teens and parents to get answers and help if needed in regards to digital footprint, digital shadow, cyber safety, cyber bullying etc. This novel, to me is a great way to introduce and discuss the issues that are now part of today’s world.
Looking forward to buying it and hoping once my teenage girl reads it she may realise I am not that bad after all.
Lastly, here is the book trailer. It is great to watch too! In the near future this will be the way books will be promoted and children can get into the fun of doing this too. I will post about how in the near future!