"Mom? Is this your phone or mine?"
I am currently reading an upper MG/lower YA adventure about a boy who's got to make his way across country on his lonesome due to a series of misadventures. He has a cell phone, and the (improbable) means by which the author manages to prevent his grandfather and parents from taking his calls is little short of hilarious. Then his phone's battery dies, and he doesn't have a charger.
Cell phones have complicated the way modern writers tell a story. Horror writers have it even worse. Who cares if Leatherface is chasing you through the woods when you can dial 911 in a jiff? Oh, darn. No service bars! Let terror commence.
As this handy means of communication becomes more affordable and available, I am seeing it more and more in the hands of the youngest generation.
MG writers, I'm wondering how young is TOO YOUNG to have a phone of your own? My 12-year-old cousin has one (and is fairly responsible with it). Is she the exception or the norm? Phone in, parents and adult busybodies!
—posted by Timothy Power