I understand your concern for your children. And that is why I create posts for both parents and readers--so they can find out what the book is about and make good judgment calls. But I read a post by a gentleman the other day on the Focus On The Family Community page. He addressed an issue, as a parent, that I would like to discuss here:
"Unfortunately, as Christians, we cannot simply direct our kids to the Christian section of the local bookstore. Much of the Christian fiction looks like total garbage. CS Lewis is a good Christian author, but I don’t think it reasonable, to expect anyone to just read Lewis and Chesterton. As a teen attending a Christian school, if my parents had told me I could only read Lewis, I probably would have been in total rebellion. As parents, we need to set reasonable boundaries.
When your [child] begins to attend College, there is probably a good chance, it will not be a Christian college. Most people, and indeed most Christians, don’t attend Christian College. In college [he/she] will be exposed to literature, all kinds of literature, from the innocuous, to the totally profane. Yes, as long as [he/she] is under your roof, you can probably prevent [him/her] from reading any books outside the Christian lexicon, but will that honestly prepare for the world outside? Rather, giving [your child] thoughtful guidance on the books [they] read, and discussing the books with [them], after [they] finish them, might be a better tact.[...]Ultimately, you want your [child] to come to you and talk to you about the books that [he/she] is reading. If you ban these books altogether, you are only forcing [him/her] to go underground. I am not talking about letting [children] read “anything” [they] want, I am saying that boundaries need to be sensible and reasonable...."
And, with this quote from this gentleman, I want to express in more detail my purpose in writing these reviews:
Yes, I want to recommend good Christian writing for parents to advise their children to read. Meanwhile, I also want to recommend good non-Christian writing. Why? Because it exists and because you can never stop an avid reader. You can just help direct his or her steps. It is better for you to give suggestions for books than to ban them all together--spoken from experience as the daughter who bought a few books behind her mother's back (sorry, Mom, if you're reading this). But eventually, my mom trusted my judgment and allowed me to buy and read those books. This made me more determined to have good judgment and increase my mom's trust.
So when there's nothing in the Christian section and your teen wants to read, now you have reviews of the secular books out there that are still appropriate.
Even as Christians, we can learn from non-Christian books. So that is why I sometimes recommend secular novels like The Hunger Games or Fablehaven. Because it's good writing and it's not inappropriate.
I pray this is clear and helps parents out there who want the best for their children.