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What is your teenager reading?

(71 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 ...?

secretscwirrels Fri 08-Mar-13 12:53:04

DS2 (15)is reading a Lee Child novel. Lots of violence but no vampires. It is true though that he will drift back to books well below his capability and is very reluctant to tackle anything unfamiliar, on the other hand he does really love reading and I hope that will stay with him. His ideal book involves a Zombie apocalypse.
DS1(17) hasn't read fiction since he was about 11 and is reading something about quantum physics.

Lancelottie Fri 08-Mar-13 13:03:36

I've just been to look.

DS2 (13) appears to be simultaneously reading 'Gone' (sort of Hunger-Games-alike), The Book Thief, some kind of anime (or is it manga?) grapic novel, and some PG Wodehouse.

DS1 (16) is reading Top Gear magazine. Oh dear.

naranji Fri 08-Mar-13 13:04:14

Horse and Hound smile she only reads fiction for school

HousewifeFromHeaven Fri 08-Mar-13 13:09:59

My dd 16 is reading the da Vinci code

Son is only 11 but is devoted to cherub at the moment.

RubberDuck Fri 08-Mar-13 13:12:49

Is it just me that doesn't think it's an issue?

I read stuff that's much easier than I'm capable of reading from time to time. It's called leisure. No-one should have to apologise for their reading choices, and the fact they're reading at all (for enjoyment no less!) should be celebrated!

hardboiled Fri 08-Mar-13 13:15:59

Ditto rubber.

wordfactory Fri 08-Mar-13 13:24:06

DD (13) reads all sorts. Adult fiction. Yound adult. Children's. I don't get invloved any longer.

Recently, she's read Looking For JJ by Anne Cassidy, Before I die by Jenny Downham, Junk by Melvyn Burgess.

She's currently reading Theodore Boone by John Grisham.

DS (13) is laboriously working his way through the Hunger Games trilogy.

dontwanttobefatandforty Fri 08-Mar-13 13:28:03

DD 15 is reading Twitter and DS 12 is reading whatever pops up on his x-box games grin

jeee Fri 08-Mar-13 13:31:48

DD1 (okay, only 12, so technically not a teen) announced last weekend that she thought it was time to stretch herself reading-wise. She's reading through St Clare's and Malory Towers.....

Frankly, she has so much homework these days that I'm pleased she's choosing to read to unwind. And I'm hardly in a position to judge as my relaxing read of choice is the Chalet School.

Amphitrite Fri 08-Mar-13 13:31:53

DD1 (15) is reading It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, which I would describe as a 21st century The Bell Jar. She is a big fan of US teen authors such as John Green and David Levithan (check out Every Day, it is brilliant).
DD2 (13) is reading the John Grisham teen series at the moment, she alternates between histfic and thrillers normally.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 08-Mar-13 13:33:27

dd (16) is reading Never Let Me Go, very slowly: I don't think she's enjoying it much. Things she's liked this year - Don't Look Now, Night Watch, The Little Stranger. But she most definitely does still read children's books too - if she's having a bath while feeling low, out come the Lemony Snickets...

dd(11) is reading 4 Children and It, not being able to find anything on her shelves last night and after a hasty kindle upload. [shame]

GooseyLoosey Fri 08-Mar-13 13:37:51

I understand why you might read "down" to relax. I spend all day reading highly technical and complex stuff. My idea of relaxation is to read something that has medieval monks killing each other and no long words. The thought of reading the latest quasi-intellectual best-seller is a complete turn off.

I cannot see why it should be any different for children. They spend all day assimilating complicated information. Their brains need some mush for down time!

mysteryfairy Fri 08-Mar-13 13:44:59

My DSs are 17 and 16 and still devour every new Charlie Higson zombie book and Robert Muchamore story as it comes out. I don't worry about this unduly as I have a first degree in English Literature and Masters in Law but it doesn't stop me reading Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella novels on holiday.

I can get the boys to read adult books mostly by luring them in with ones with shocking content The Cement Garden, The Wasp Factory - that sort of thing.

My younger brother is in his thirties, has a PhD and a very high powered job on Wall Street. It's reliably reported to me that he reads Richmal Crompton's William books on the subway into work most mornings!

TallulahTwinkle Fri 08-Mar-13 13:49:02

My ds 14 is reading Trainspotting at the moment, before that was The grapes of Wrath and The Catcher in the Rye.

However, he does also read his little sister's Diary of A Wimpy Kid Books and horrible histories grin

Copthallresident Fri 08-Mar-13 14:30:55

I think you should be careful about dismissing the whole zombie / vampire thing. Once engaged maybe readers will move on to other things and also it is part of their culture, which obviously is made all the more valuable for us sneering at it wink.

I have been very dismissive of DDs early interest in Princess Diaries and too much time spent watching what I call "American rubbish" like Gilmour girls (is it just me or are all those American teen things actually a race to get as many words out in a monotone in the course of 25minutes) but Mad Men has now led to DD (17) discovering Richard Yates (whose clear and crisp writing is a joy) and that has led to the actual Bell Jar, Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, The Bridge over San Luis Ray................ and I may have been known to devour a box set of Don in a day

Both DDs are into Chuck Palahniuk and Brett Easton Ellis which look like rubbish to me but then what do I know.....

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Fri 08-Mar-13 14:40:49

Nothing sadly. Reading has been so much of a issue over the years for my 15yo dyslexic son. We have tried every genre of book, magazines etc, but to no avail. The only book he read recently and almost enjoyed was Benjamin Zephaniah, Teachers Dead.
I feel very sad as I devour books and feel that he is really missing out. Perhaps one day he will feel differently...

Copthallresident Fri 08-Mar-13 14:56:05

Allfurcoat DB was severely dyslexic and didn't read a novel until he was 30, and then it was that ex SAS guy, Andy McNabb, which led to the second book he read......."Wuthering Heights" smile I am sure your son will feel differently one day, DB reads a lot now.

BTW I know how difficult it is (I am also dyslexic and so are my DDs but I think there are more ways into literature for girls) but they do at least recognise the issues now and hopefully they get some degree of support however inadequate. Part of DBs problem was being switched off so entirely by a system that didn't get him at all (Head to parents AFTER they had got a diagnosis from an Ed Psych "The trouble with you middle class parents is that you can't accept your child is stupid"). However he ended up doing OND / HND/ a degree by day release and now is Head of Engineering for a Europe wide company. Hopefully your sons day will arrive more quickly.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 08-Mar-13 15:56:09

My 14 y/o DD1 is reading this

My 9 y/o DD2 is reading Skullduggery pleasant book 2. My 12 y/o dyslexic reluctant reader DS is allegedly reading a Terry Pratchett book, he is most definitely listening to Old Harry's Game the complete series on audiobook. As I type.

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Fri 08-Mar-13 16:07:30

Thanks Copthallresident for your post. It is very hard to help my son as he is so switched off from reading. He loves photography and is creative, so hoping there will be a route in to that for him.

Kez100 Fri 08-Mar-13 17:16:53


I've a severly dyslexic son who never reads but knows more about pretty much anything than I do. He (avidly) listens to audiobooks and you tube blogs/vlogs and is involved in drama.

My daughter, who is not dyslexic but never reads either, is currently on a photography level 3 diploma and reports her college, a competitive art college, offers a lot of support for dyslexics in her photography group (she is trying to convince my son to go there but they don't offer the right courses for him). So, good luck to him!

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Fri 08-Mar-13 17:22:46

Thanks that's very encouraging to hear!

23balloons Fri 08-Mar-13 17:37:22

Hi ds1, also dyslexic, had never read a book until a couple of weeks ago. He is 12 and now reading the Cherub series (that apparently everyone at school is reading). I recently got him a kindle off eBay, one of the older ones that has text to voice so if he is tired the kindle can read out the words. You can also enlarge the text and look up words by highlighting. It might be worth a try allfurcoats it's not a cheap option but after 8 years of trying to get him interested in reading it is worth it to me!

nightswimmer Fri 08-Mar-13 17:38:18

My daughter-nearly 15-Terry Pratchett- lots of them , one after the other. My attitude to her reading over the years has always been, whatever it is, as long as she's reading I don't care too much what it is. She's another one who read and re-read books that were young for her age for a long time, but I figured she just needed to do that, the comfort of it, or whatever.

Sparrows12 Fri 08-Mar-13 18:57:43

One (13) has just devoured a series with titles like Fear, Pain, Plague or whatever - all very grim and I'm holding out until the last one is in paperback. The other (16) has no time to read anymore but next to her bed she has Chavs by Owen Jones and the house of the spirits by Isabelle allende. Both half read.

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