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Teenage Summertime Reading

By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

I know, the last thing your teenager wants to do this summer is read. But, if you get creative with it, you might be able to get them to read a few books this summer. My 15 year old niece helped me with some of my summertime reading research, so most of this is in her opinion. She is a spirited teen who is a stellar soccer player and student, so I trust her opinion in leading me in the right direction for a good teenage view on literature.

First off, the big question: what are those creative ways to get your teenager to read this summer? One of the simplest ways is to make them feel like they are in charge of picking their book to read. All year long in the classroom they are told what book to read, and the last thing any teen wants to do is be assigned another uninteresting book to read. Take a trip to the Greensboro Public Library or Forsyth County Public Library and let them pick out a book or two that peaks their interest. Of course, get them a library card if they don’t have one already! This way it will make them feel in complete control over their choices.

If your teen has no idea what to choose, come prepared with a few suggestions. According to my niece, both the Hunger Games and Divergent book series were popular with her and her friends. If your teen has not read them yet, suggest getting the first few books, then, to keep them motivated to read, rent the DVD of the movie so you can decide which was better, the book or the movie. Another popular series my niece recommends is The Maze Runner. With four books in the set out currently, it too is another book to film series. The next book to be released in the series is The Fever Code, which will be out in the fall, so why not get your teen caught up this summer and gain some excitement about its next release.

Another way to get your teen into reading is to think back of some of your favorite books you read as a teen. One of the more compelling novels I have read was The Giver. I read it when I was in my preteen years, and I found it to be fascinating and inspiring. To me, it was exciting to read about a teen breaking away from the ordinary and making a new and better life for himself, his family and his community. My niece hasn’t started reading it yet, but she is excited to start. I can’t wait to see what she thinks of the lead character Jonas and his willingness to break out of the sameness that his underlying dystopian town implements.

Zombies. Yes, Zombies. Anything and everything that has to do with zombies seems to attract our youth. Think about it, they are on television shows, all over movies and now being written into classic novels. In 2009, author Seth Granhame-Smith released Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Some of us can hardly suffer through Pride and Prejudice as an adult, so imagine throwing some zombies into the novel! Compelling? At least to teenagers, it is. This book is gaining a lot of attraction because it to has been recently released as a film.

Plan sometime during the day for tech-free time and allow your teen to grab a real book and be introduced into far off lands, sci-fi thrillers or interesting plot twist that even you might enjoy. If you can’t get them to read a “real” book, give them a $10 gift card to download a few books onto their electronic devices and see what happens this summer. Believe it or not, my techy niece prefers to read from a real book. She said, “It’s something I can hold in my hands, and I can physically see all of the pages. I feel like it gets me into the story more.” This, coming from a 15-year-old niece, makes my book loving heart swoon!

I look forward to talking about these books with my niece, but I guess this means I need to start my summertime reading!