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Pre teens and reading

(14 Posts)
spudinvasion Thu 22-Sep-11 11:39:05

DD is almost 13, just started high school. (We live in a town where they stay at middle school until end of Y7).

In english they have been asked to compile a list of "All the books and authors you have read since the beginning of term"

Is this odd? DD is not a reader anyway so hasn't read a whole book even since the beginnning of the year. But do 12/13 year olds really read so much that they would be able to make a list? They've only been back at school for 3 weeks!!!

DD is now a bit paranoid and feeling useless because she doesn't like reading.
I hope I made her feel better but I thought it was a bit odd.

Kez100 Thu 22-Sep-11 11:46:02

I think it is a fair question as, yes, many do and it is definitely a benefit to their learning if they do.

I have one non-reader too but her reader friends have clearly better literacy than she does. My other DC cannot access books of his age due to severe dyslexia but he has audio books and, if they were included, he would have at least 3 since the start of September.

thetasigmamum Thu 22-Sep-11 11:59:08

My DS - 11- has dyslexia so reading is a strain for him. He has successfully developed coping strategies which have resulted in him being 'alright' at reading now (he has more problems with writing and spelling than reading at the moment, since the extra help he was given at primary was skewed towards reading rather than writing). But he doesn't enjoy the process. However he loves stories (and history also). He listens to audio books every night. absolutely loves them. The Hitch Hikers Guide books are his favourites but he has also listened to loads of Doctor Who audios and also the Hiccup books, and the Narnia books. And some Harry Potter. He is starting to be more prepared to read physical books now though, since he got to his new school. He is very articulate and imaginative and I'm sure this is partly down to the audio books which have meant he isn't cut off from interesting narrative.

DD1 - 13- is a complete bookworm, she has read at least 6 books since term began (I know this because I had to buy them) and probably a few more re-reads or library borrows. Several of the early teen 'series' have had a new volume in the last couple of weeks - there was a new Skullduggery, a new Spook, a new Pittacus Lore book - so this bumps the number up a bit. I know that DD1 had to led out her new Skullduggery to a couple of people cos the bookshop in town under ordered and sold out. Her class are being aced to record what they read, too - the English department are on a crusade to get the kids reading more since they believe (and it seems fair) that the readers make better writers, especially at that early teen sort of age.

DD2 is like her sister and often falls asleep cuddling a book. smile

OneMoreMum Thu 22-Sep-11 12:57:29

Mys DS1, 12, has read probably 7 or 8 books since the last library trip a few weeks ago.

DS2, 11 has read maybe 3 or 4 books independently his whole life, and they were all diary of a wimpy kid books.

Everyone's different, but anything that would convince DS2 to read something would be good.

spudinvasion Thu 22-Sep-11 13:20:00


DD does seem to be attracted to what I would say are more adult reads so maybe they are just putting her off. Too long, too much build up etc.

She didn't really get in to Jacqueline Wilson so maybe we just need to find something more to her taste. She quite likes the idea of horror books but obviously I would want it to be age appropriate. Thetasigmamum I think she might like Hitchhikers so I might give that a try. I am clearly out of touch with books for her age as I have never heard of the Skullduggery or Pittacus Lore books. Perhpas I need to do some more research!

She is a real film buff and she will watch all sorts of films that I wouldn't have expected her to like so she does like the story telling aspect.

It certainly follows that she struggles to write from her imagination and her literacy generally is quite average. She is a terrible speller. She will sit for hours doing science/maths - where the answer is right or wrong.

I think a trip to the library this weekend to try and find something that will inspire her.

Thanks for all your input.

thetasigmamum Thu 22-Sep-11 13:37:20

spudinvasion skullduggery Pleasant is a series of books - I think there are about 5 or 6 - written by Derick Landy. DD1 started reading them in...Y5 or 6, it must have been. I think they are aimed at 12+ though. All the kids seem to love them. Other popular series for that sort of age include the Spook books by Joesph Delaney, the Mortal Engines, Fever Crumb and Larklight books by Phillip Reeve, the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, the Nichols Flammel series by Michael Scott....

There are lots of excellent individual books aimed at that age(ish) too - look for names like Diana Wynne Jones, David Almond, Neil Gaiman (but be careful, some of his stuff is more adult - I recommend The Graveyard book, Stardust and Neverwhere for early teens), Michael Morpurgo (but some of his stuff is aimed younger). DD1 also loves classics - Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, Mill on the Floss, some Dickens.......She has recently got into P G Wodehouse, she laughs like a drain at the Jeeves and Blandings books.

She never liked Jacqueline Wilson either. I don't blame her.

I hope you and your DD find something she will like. There's so much out there.

bruffin Thu 22-Sep-11 13:56:50

DD (just gone into yr9) has always had a reading record. Last year DD wasn't putting a lot of books down because she couldn't be bothered writing about themhmm It's also a punishable offence not to have a reading book in their bag for english.
DD reads whatever her current fad is, Harry Potter numerous times (the whole set 5 times in yr6! plus another 50 books)

She downloaded Les Miserable onto her ipod to read because she became obsessed with the musical when Nick Jonas was in it.

Now reading Umbrella Academy (anime) because it was written by someone from My Chemical Romance.

They also have been given a suggested reading list this term. I have dug out my very old copy of the Chrysalids which is on the list.

Can't she read books of the films she likes.

Also will she listen to story tapes/cd. DS got into reading because they didn't have the last Alex Rider on cd and he was desperate to read the next one. He only really started a few weeks before he went into yr8.

thetasigmamum Thu 22-Sep-11 14:04:25

Brufin DD1 rereads at least 1 HP book almost every other week. She normally has one on the go alongside whatever else she is reading. I would get annoyed with her but I can't talk really since I have just gone back to re-read A Song of Ice and Fire from the beginning again, having felt bereaved when I finished Dance with Dragons. blush DD2 has also begun this compulsive re-reading of HP since going through the whole set in the summer.

Spud - some more recommendations - The Book Thief is DD1s favourite book of all time, can't remember who it's by but i's very good. The Boy in the Striped Pijamas also very good. If your DD isn't grabbed by fiction, what about some factual stuff - there are plenty of excellent history and science books out there.....

spudinvasion Thu 22-Sep-11 15:28:20

Thanks both of you for your suggestions.

The problem with reading books of films is that she loses interest because she knows what is going to happen!

Will definitely give her your lists and see if something grabs her as it were. May also ask school if they have a reading list.

She did boy in the stiped pyjamas in Y7 and seemed to enjoy that so clearly some things do get her interested.

Thanks again for your suggestions. I am a big big reader too so finding it hard to relate to this issue. DH may be the best one to take her book finding since he has never read a whle book in his life!! Maybe they will find something they both love!!

Now if only I could get my 6yo Ds to read something..........!!!!

RueDeWakening Thu 22-Sep-11 15:45:37

For those of you who mentioned having kids with problems accessing books, have you heard of Listening Books? It's a charity which lends audio books on cd and now also has a streaming & download service. There's a small cost for membership, about £40 a year I think, and you can borrow books as quickly as you get through them. Selection isn't that great but there are more being added, you can set up a wishlist and they just sent you the next 2 or 3 available titles when you return your current loans.

Also, Hertfordshire libraries have an excellent download service for audio and ebooks, you don't have to live there to join their library either.

bruffin Thu 22-Sep-11 16:07:02

They are doing The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas at school and it has sparked a bit of an Auschwitz obsession in DD. Caught her watching a programme on auschwitz she had found on iplayer.

I have read HP many times as well blush

We are in Hertfordshire and the library does have a good selection of cds as well. Ds has also downloaded some onto his ipod. DS's english teacher said she was fine with him using them as he was accessing literature.

Kez100 Thu 22-Sep-11 16:46:44

Rue: thanks, yes, almost all of my sons audio comes from listening books. They are brilliant. When he went into hospital for an op they sent him 4 so he was always entertained (he had been a subscriber for two years, so they know him quite well). The only ones we buy are Rick Riordan which he wants as soon as they are available and listens over and over to them (much like the people who read HP a million times).

LB can be joined, I believe, if you have a problem which stops you accessing books in the normal way.

RueDeWakening Thu 22-Sep-11 20:02:19

Yes, I've subscribed to it for the last few years - I lost my sight almost totally after the birth of DD1, fortunately after a couple of operations it's now back and other than visual field problems is great. But LB and radio 4's book at bedtime saved me from going nuts a fair few times grin

borntoberiled Sat 24-Sep-11 09:31:40

Definitely try to encourage the reading. Most of my pupils won't read at home, and it shows. Agree audio might be a good start. Good luck.

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