Buyer’s Guide – Tweens & Teens Books

Reading is skill that parents need to encourage their child to master.  A person who is literate, and can read well is increasingly likely to graduate from college, get a high paying job, experience the joys of learning new things, and have an outlet for stress reduction.

It may not be easy to turn your teen on to reading a book, however, it is not impossible.  Here are a few tips to help turn your teen into an avid reader:

  • Set an example – let your child see you reading for pleasure.
  • Provide a variety of reading materials – leave books, newspapers and magazines around for your teenager to take a look at.
  • Allow your teen an opportunity to choose his or her own book – go separate ways in a book store and let your teen make his or her own selection.
  • Read some books written for teens – this will give you some valuable insight as to the pressures and concerns of teenagers opening the door for further conversation
  • Acknowledge your teen’s mature interests – suggest some adult reading that he or she can handle.
  • Build on your teen’s interests – look for books that may feature their favorite hobbies, sports, television shows or singers.  Buy a subscription to a special interest magazine.

Once your teen is ready to read, here are some suggestions for choosing good books for your tween/teen:

  • Authority: Preteens and teens like to question authority.  Recommend classic and modern novels that deal with issues such as those in which the needs of a community are more important than the individuals within.
  • Local, National, and International Events: Your teen may become more interested in current events – provide editorials and articles from news magazines and the newspaper that might be of interest to him or her.
  • Independence: Your teen is likely striving for independence, however (secretly) may still want to be connected to family.  Suggest books that you can read as well that will allow you to share laughter, mystery, an action-packed adventure or a science fiction journey.
  • Abstract Thinking: Teens are beginning to learn how to think abstractly while understanding the reasons behind views that may differ from their own.  Encourage the reading of books that will challenge them to think “outside the box” and provide a view of the world beyond their normal daily experiences.
  • Opportunities and Experiences: Teens are starting to determine what they will ultimately do with their lives, such as college, careers and starting a family of their own.  Propose books that introduce a wide range of opportunities and experiences for him or her to really begin to learn about the journey of life.

No one book or magazine will be right for every child.  Get in tune with what may be of interest to your teen and encourage reading!