Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Books for Reluctant Readers

You might be wondering if tweens/teens actually read anymore.
I mean, they have Xbox, smart phones, and Netflix, right? Books can be very easy to ignore. But I'm here to happily report: they ARE reading. In my experience as a teacher, I see this age group as passionate and engaged with books. There is hope for the future of America. Amen and Glory!
Here's the thing: it takes a lot of time and energy to find good books for kids. Not everyone has hours to peruse Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but for me? It's probably the best part of my job! I've seen these books win over teens time and time again, so, I'm delighted to share with you.
When you bring them home, don't offer him incentives or nag, just set them on the coffee table or on his dresser and say NOTHING. In fact, it might help to say, "Ya know, these might be too mature for you, but I thought I'd risk it." (Insert evil laughter)
I have intentionally thought of boys when writing this post, but girls have also loved all of these titles.
So in no particular order:
1. The Homelanders Series by Andrew Klavan - There are 4 books in this series about a boy on the run. The link I have here is for all four books in one volume, which might be a bit much, but it's a great value!
2. The Michael Vey Series by Richard Paul Evans - I cannot recommend these books enough. Boys and girls both have loved these books about an ordinary kid with extraordinary powers. There are four books out right now, but the final series will be seven books total.
3. The Ascendance Trilogy -  by Jennifer Nielsen - These might be more fun for younger teens (grades 5-8) but they have been a winner every time. If they like these books, check out her latest title in a different series called The Mark of the Thief.
4. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - This author is unbelievable. He's been writing in the Fantasy genre for many years, but now he's breaking into more Adventure/Action writing. This book would be more for older teens.

5. The Beyonders and Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull - These books are for fans of fantasy and adventure. Also, don't miss his new series, Five Kingdoms.

6. Outlaw by Ted Dekker - If your older teen hasn't read any Ted Dekker, now is the time! Dekker has so many great novels to choose from that are filled with great truths told through compelling (and sometimes downright creepy) stories.

Summer Reading Tips for Teens:
  • Institute a "tech-free" time each night. Maybe by 9:30/10 PMall screens go off and the books come out.
  • Get your teen to the library once in awhile, or head to Barnes & Noble for a quick check on what's new.
  • Reading on a screen is okay, but I think it usually leads to other games/distractions. Fill your house with books, so there are no excuses!

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