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Best Answer Sid Kemp says
I read the Lord of the Rings the summer before my 12th birthday, and (as you know, Sid) it was life-changing for me too.
I just realized I was only thinking about fiction. At the same age - about 11 - my brother was in a high school human sexuality course with the classic "all about sex" books of the era, and, with my mother's encouragement, I read them all.
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That sounds like a great book! It's making me think of the ones I picked up around my parents house too -- not always such happy choices. (I ended up reading Eli Wiesel's Night far too young).
Three great books to read as a young teen!
I think the experience of stretching yourself to understand is important -- especially when you do it for fun. I wonder if teens today have as much chance to get that experience.