Do you have a teenager at home who is reluctant to sit down and read?
Here are some tips and resources that might help you and your teen to decrease some of the angst that could be building up around the question of reading.
First of all, do everything you can to NOT turn your teen’s reading or not reading into a battle.
Keep things real. Converse with your teen about their likes, dislikes, hopes, fears, and dreams. Look for popular role models who might have also struggled at reading in youth. Jason Reynolds one of our nation’s most popular children and teen writers, and named the 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress says he didn’t read a book cover to cover until he was 17. His message is honest, and it is compelling.
Let your teen choose what to read.
Connect reading to your teen’s passion. Subtly pepper your house with well-illustrated library books about things they’re passionate about.
Find ways to tie reading to social media. Reading doesn’t just have to happen with a nose in a book.
Leverage your teen’s interest in current events… sports, celebrities, gaming, politics…
Ask your library to help you find engrossing books at your teen’s reading level.
Model reading at home. Sit yourself down and read regularly. Show your teen what it looks like.
Discuss what your teen reads. Be interested in what your teen thinks of it. Remember to not judge.
Resist the urge to criticize.
Find a compelling page turner series. It’s easier to get into books with characters you’re already familiar with.
These tips came from Louise Baigelman, MEd, an expert dedicated to and passionate about literacy education. You can find further explanations of each point in Ms. Baigelman’s full article here at Understood.org
Remember this: When things are stressful, even people who LOVE to read find it hard to sit down and read new books. It can be a real comfort to pick up a book you’ve already read… stories you already know… with characters you’re already familiar with. It’s nice to have SOMETHING going on where we know what’s going to happen next – even if just in a well-known and well-loved story-line.
If your teen loves a film or TV show based on a YA novel, why not just happen to leave a copy of the book sitting around... YA adaptations of 2020
Jason Reynolds on the truth about Book Haters.
Louise Baigelman, Founder of Story Shares talks about the importance of teens having access to compelling books with accessible reading levels.
Here are some links which offer loads of resources and ideas for supporting teenagers who are reluctant to read:
Quick Picks – YALSA (Young Adult Library Association) puts together an annual list of shorter and hard-to-put-down YA novels.
Understood.org - Understood is a non-profit dedicated to serving the millions of families of kids who learn and think in unique ways.
Story Shares - Story Shares is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization devoted to inspiring reading practice and improving literacy skills. See more about their growing collection of Relevant Reads — books that are both compelling and approachable for struggling teen and young adult readers. (Site under renovation)
Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities Resource Guide (created by the IDA) Provides a HUGE amount of resources that can be clicked on from within the guide. It is meant for teachers, families, librarians, etc. It provides resources for non-dyslexia specific realms as well.
Get Personalized Recommendations - Get your very own personalized reading list from your very own library. Richland Library has a team of librarians ready to make your book wish, their command. Tell us what you like, what reading level you prefer, and what you'd love to find books about.
Richland Library's Booklists - All tastes, levels, and genres are covered in our ever-increasing, staff-generated, vast selection of browsable booklists. You can search Audience: Teen if you want. Here is a list of YA Books in Verse - excellent options for people who may find pages packed with text exhausting.
YALSA's Top Ten Quick Picks for 2020
Click here for the list and brief summaries of the below titles, and here for the full list.