One of the major problems we have facing our nation is that our children are no longer reading as they once were. It’s not just that the level of reading has gone down in recent years, but the fact is that children and teens no longer enjoy reading.
Instead, they’d much rather spend time on their smartphones and tablets watching movies or playing video games.
So, in this post I thought I’d take a look at a few ideas for getting teenagers to read more…and to make it more enjoyable and educational for them.
Reading Novels Should Be Fun
In my opinion, one of the leading causes of the lack of reading that goes on isn’t just about the influx of technology and time spent online, but because our kids are consistently forced to read: by parents, teachers, standardized test requirements, etc, etc.
The fact that they’re forced to do so makes it much harder for them to enjoy it, especially when the works they are required to read are…let us say, not exactly light books.
Think about it: did you enjoy reading A Tale of Two Cities when you were 15? What about an esoteric rendition of The Odyssey or Canterbury Tales?
Chances are, you dreaded it, and slaved through every required page without putting any thought into the work itself, but just into how you’re going to pass the next quiz or test.
So, instead of focusing on dense classics (don’t get me wrong, reading literary classics is hugely important and I’m not at all recommending we remove them from the curriculum), we should encourage teens to read anything they enjoy.
Popular Books for Young Adults
One technique we might employ is to get teens interested in popular works of literature. This can be especially powerful if their interest in the subject is already intrigued by some outside source. For example: movies and tv shows that have an origin from books.
Here’s a few examples. There’s also a great list from buzzfeed here.
There’s also a list of popular teen books by the Examiner.
A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones, though it deals with many adult themes like lust, war, and power, is also a good choice for mature adolescents to read.
You can even get A Game of Thrones audiobook download for free! So start your introduction to this wonderful fictitious world and dive into a land of legends!
With this year’s release of Jurassic World, the 4th installment of the blockbuster film franchise, it’s an excellent opportunity to get kids interested in the broader epic story, written in the early 90s.
Jurassic Park is a wonderful fantasy-thriller, and has a lot of sound literary elements. Of note in particular is the way an entire fictional world is constructed and comes to life on page! This is a wonderful book for teenagers to get into. You can download a free Jurassic Park audiobook from http://www.freeaudiobookguide.com.