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What is your teenager reading?

(61 Posts)
Mrshighandmighty Fri 08-Mar-13 12:43:57

Interesting article on BBC news today:

"A study of reading habits of 300,000 pupils in 1,600 UK schools found many 13- and 14-year-olds opting for books with a primary school reading age.

Boys were particularly likely to read books which were less difficult.

Report author Prof Keith Topping says this could explain why teenagers' reading levels could "lag behind".

The average reading age of the books chosen by 13 and 14-year-olds was only 10 years, claims the report."

What are your teenagers reading? My three dss are dwelling happily in the dystopian nightmares of Charlie Higson's adult zombies trying to kill anyone under 14 (*sigh*) ...

Am I the only one who is really over the whole vampire romance/zombie killing-spree genres?

Thoughts (& suggestions!) please ...?

bruffin Fri 22-Mar-13 22:42:43

Ds 17 is reading a physics book by the actor/comedian Ben Miller. Dd probably something by John Green

BooksandaCuppa Fri 22-Mar-13 22:48:18

John Green is great, btw, really good, quirky books. And popular with boys almost as much as girls in my experience.

Schooldidi Fri 22-Mar-13 22:56:03

Dd1 (13) is currently not reading anything as I have confiscated her kindle until her bedroom is clean shock

I rarely ask her what she's reading because I more or less trust her to make appropriate choices. She's read LOTR recently and seems to have downloaded a load of books to learn Japanese hmm, presumably so she can read manga in the original language.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 22-Mar-13 22:58:41

To go back to the OP, I disagree slightly that teenagers are self-dumbing down. On the whole, the brighter, good readers are reading plenty of age appropriate and often challenging adult stuff; the less competent/enthusiastic readers I'd rather see reading Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Dork than nothing: some don't challenge themselves enough and some you'll never get reading at all (or until later).

Where I do agree is that even the best teenage fiction is more limited in terms of vocabulary than classic children's fiction and that's to be regretted - but in terms of plot, theme and structure they can be quite sophisticated.

And I would posit there are more teenagers reading now than in the 'good old days' precisely because there is so much aimed at them. It's a really new genre after all. In 'my day' we would go straight from children's books to adult 'genre' fiction (romance, fantasy or horror, usually) and I'm a) not sure that that is of any better 'value' than teen lit (if we're being qualitatively judgemental) and b) very sure that more of my peers stopped reading at 11 than those of my ds today.

Ds (12) has recently read some Anthony Horowitz books (Diamond Brothers) and a book by Louis Sachar. Next on his list is one of the Charlie Higson "Young Bond" books.

He also likes to re-read books he has previously enjoyed. These include all the Arthur Ransomes (which he first started reading when he was about 7) and the Professor Branestawm books.

QuiteOldGal Sat 23-Mar-13 06:58:05

DS read Animal Farm , 1984, A short History of almost everything by Bill Bryson, James Herbert books, subscribed to Wired magazine, Fermats last therom (he likes maths smile) and some books from the TV series 24.

This was between the ages of 13-17

Mrsrobertduvall Sat 23-Mar-13 13:37:34

Ds is nearly 14 and never reads. He has probably read 2 books in 2 years outside school and they are Michael Morpurgo ones.
Somehow he is forecast A for gCSE English.

Dd the same...she has a mountain of depressing teen angst books by the side of her bed, but would rather sing or play guitar. Again she is forecast A for English.

I read 2-3 books a week. Dh one book a year.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 23-Mar-13 16:41:23

I think she's reading "I am number 4" but I'm not sure, she is always reading and goes through books like most people go through clean pairs of socks! grin

LineRunnyEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 16:43:05

Viz comic <proud>

DS1(14) The Black Cloud - Sir Fred Hoyle (SciFi written by an astrophysicist); Private Eye; New Scientist and anything else he finds lying around. He's known as 'the boy with the book' at school, as he permanently has one in his hand and often walks into things!

DS2(12) Mad Dogs - Robert Muchamore

LineRunnyEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 16:58:38

TheCheeseAlarm The Black Cloud is my favourite ever childhood book and I re-read it last year (I seem to have stolen a copy from my school...).

It's a very male-orientated world in science, the politicans are arseholes, and the USA and the UK have a tense 'pissing up the wall' relationship behind the scenes. Considering it was written in the 1960s(?), it's spookily prescient.

And the Cloud is genuinely fascinating.

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