Kids often (okay, maybe all the time) read books to escape--to be someone they aren't, to live in a time they don't, to solve a problem they can't. But I also think that when a reader is escaping, they learn things too--through their questions. Ones they ask aloud or ones that churn internally while they're reading.
And I understand that while kids are reading, they don't want a HUGE LIFE MESSAGE to bombard them. I get that, even though the English teacher in me wants to discuss symbols, themes, and other fascinating literary devices. Most kids read for the joy of reading, the entertainment, the plain fun of it.
But I think books can be read for fun AND bring about tough questions of life at the same time--because books grab emotions. Books help us look at life through someone else's eyes; they bring us face to face with ourselves; they challenge us to change based upon what we've read.
Yes, kids read for escape or entertainment, but in doing so, I think their questions get answered too or even bring about new questions, whether kids think so or not. What do you think?