This isn't my usual book review or author interview, but I thought I might take a brief break from books to write about this very cool (or as the kids say, kewl) new phone that was created just for kids ages 8-12.
It's called Kajeet, and the phone has a camera, games, text messaging and more on it, plus it's a pay-as-you-go phone, so there are no expensive contracts to enslave the parents and empty their wallets.
My son Nick, who is, he will tell you, 7-and-three-quarters years old, (his birthday is in November) took to the Kajeet like a duck to water. I was worried that he was too young to handle the responsibility of the phone, but other than a first day of school mishap,where he lost the phone on the playground and had to go to the office to pick it up (and the dean of students called me to explain that he's not allowed to take his cell phone out of his backpack while at school unless he gets an emergency phone call from his parents), he's been great about keeping track of his phone, watching that he doesn't use up all his minutes, and being careful when allowing his friends to look at or play with the phone.
Nick and his buddy who lives across the street, Abby, had a 'modeling' session where Abby posed in lots of silly ways and Nick took her pictures with the Kajeet. It was adorable watching them play 'executive' and pretend they were having a discussion with the president about allowing gum at school.
Nick is honing his spelling and language skills by text messaging our 13 year old neighbor, Mari, though he had to be told that there is a time limit to when she can recieve text messages and calls from him. She's a busy gal and has homework to do and friends to giggle with on her own cell.
Nick downloaded some fun ringtones and sounds, so now when his phone rings, the "Transformers" theme comes on, and a deep voice says "Incoming message from Cybertron!"
Several of my neighbors up the street have asked about the Kajeet for their 9 and 10 year olds, and have asked me about the safety of the phone, and I've told them that so far, it seems perfectly safe and easily understandable and programable for kids.
Nick also loves the graphics on the phone, and the fact that he can call his parents if he's hurt or lost. Kids encounter so many more frightening things these days, its comforting to know that he can call on us whenever he needs to.
I highly recommend Kajeet for anyone with a preteen or young teen at home. It has all the features they love, and it has a price that parents love.