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How to Help a Teen Choose a Book
|Grades||6 – 12|
Manlius, New York
|Tip Topic||Tips for Teaching Reading
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Why Use This Tip
Teens nationwide stood in line for the opening of Twilight. Why? They had read and loved the book, and so they wanted to watch (and of course critique!) the film adaptation. Teens may be motivated to read what their peers are into, but what's the best way to help a teen select an appropriate work to read? In recent years, the number of titles available for young adult readers has grown at an exciting pace, but the sheer number of books out there creates a challenge for adults trying to help teens find the right books to read. Fortunately, there are many ways to help teens choose appropriate and engaging titles. The following tips will help you find the resources necessary to choices that will appeal to the teen readers in your life.
- Ask a librarian or teacher. Librarians and teachers know what books appeal to and are appropriate for teen readers. Visit the library with your teen so that you can talk with the librarian together to find some great (and perhaps unexpected) titles for your teen to try. Many libraries also sponsor books clubs where teens can connect over books. Librarians can point you to lists of suggested titles published online. Some schools also publish suggested and/or required lists of books for summer reading.
- Go to the blogs. Teens want to read what their peers are reading. There are many wonderful blogs where teens can teens can read and chat about the books they and their peers. This is a great way to learn about new titles and to help teens broaden their reading interests, as well as integrate reading and social activities.
- Peruse the aisles of your library or bookstores. Bookstores organize stock by level of age-appropriateness, as well as by subject matter and type of book. Encourage your teen to sit down with a read a bit of while you're still at the library or bookstore. Encourage your teen to check out several different titles, rather than just one or two.
- Find out what books your teen has enjoyed in the past. One way to help out is by choosing other titles by the same author. A teen who enjoyed Walter Dean Myers' Monster might also like Sunrise Over Fallujah. A teen who liked Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak might want to read Prom. Teens also like to read novels that occur in a series, like the Twilight and Harry Potter books. Once you know what the subjects and genres that your teen enjoys, consult librarians and even amazon,com to find other titles you might not have known about.
- Check out graphic novels. There are many great, high quality graphic novels appealing to a wide range of readers. If your teen read Maus, a graphic novel account of the Holocaust, check out Persepolis, a graphic autobiography of a young girl growing up during the Iranian revolution.
- Address problems with book. Teens who are exploring and perhaps struggling with their identities or personal problems might like help choosing books related to those issues.