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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 ...?

Copthallresident Fri 08-Mar-13 19:56:32

allfur and baloons I got a Kindle for traveling and by the by started to notice I was reading more quickly and easily (after being an avid reader for decades, I had always assumed that in all my gobbling up of books since the age of 7 I had overcome any difficulties with reading and my dyslexia mainly kicked in with my appalling spelling and inability to proof read) I then learned that the Learning Support Unit at the local boys school had just bought them in for all the boys they support. One DD has realised the same, the other won't give up on her love of books and I am evil and a betrayer apparently.....

AScorpionPitForMimes Fri 08-Mar-13 20:03:41

I agree that in part this is logical - if I were being bombarded with Of Mice and Men at school, I'd want to dumb down and unwind at home. I remember when I was doing my A-levels, I read Agatha Christie, Dick Francis, Jack Vance and Rex Stout at home to relax.

My older DD is just 12 so no longer a teen, but even now she reads a mix of easy and difficult and usually has at least 2 books on the go simultaneously. She's just finished LOTR and is now reading a Rick Riordan clone about Pegasus, but since she's doing Pygmalion at school I think she really does need to unwind with something easy. And the His Dark Materials trilogy is next on her list.

diabolo Fri 08-Mar-13 20:13:04

13 year old DS is just about to finish The Fellowship of the Ring - his interest was sparked after seeing the films over Christmas and he actually went to our bookshelf and got out his dad's copy without any nagging on my part. He says he can't wait to move on to the Two Towers.

Before that he had been reading the newest Rick Riordan / Percy Jackson stuff and the Michael Grant "Gone" series, which many others on here seem to be reading too.

busymummy3 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:39:29

DD is 16 always reading has just finished The Great Gatsby and is now reading Call the Midwife. Before that has been reading Mortal Instruments or something ??? series and like everyone else I know with teenagers has read all The Hunger Games.

INeverSaidThat Fri 08-Mar-13 22:41:05

DS 18 reading a Tom Holt book.
DD 15 reading The Hobbit (nearly finished it)

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Mar-13 22:44:31

dd 12 hasn't read much fiction lately just factual books on how things work /science etc. Currently in the middle of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur C. Doyle)

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 08-Mar-13 22:45:05

This is what's on the shelf next to 13 year old DS1's bed:

The fourth Maze Runner book (James Dashner)
One of those zombie Death/Enemy/Fear things (Charlie Higson)
Something called 'The Fury'

TaggieCampbellBlack Fri 08-Mar-13 22:51:23

DD2 -14, rarely reads anything. Just doesn't like it.

DD1 - 16, is a bookworm like me. Currently on F Scott Fitzgerald Tender is the night. After doing The Great Gatsby for school and loved it. She also rereads the Harry Potters constantly and follows me with everything I put on my Kindle.

BestIsWest Sat 09-Mar-13 18:48:18

Kez100 Your son sounds exactly like my DS.

He is severely dyslexic but knows far more than me about many things. You tube blogs/vlogs/audio are his kind of thing too.
He would struggle to read a book but listens to things like The Wasp Factory on Audio CD.

He's a huge fan of Comic books too which I encourage and so does his excellent English teacher.

microcosmia Mon 11-Mar-13 00:03:14

DS (14) is currently reading the Gone series by Michael Grant (Gone/Lies/Plague/Hunger etc) mentioned earlier. He has a bookcase heaving with books but tends to read a narrow range and return to those he likes over and over. He also likes manga and marvel graphic novels.

He normally has several books on the go at one time, and one of them is always a Percy Jackson book. He's been re-reading those for FOUR years now (!). Some shops list them as 9-12 years and others have them in the teen section but I would say they are for a younger readership mostly. I do wonder sometimes why he re-reads them so frequently, most weeks he'll pick one up. Obviously he really loves them and they are probably like a "comfort" read. I'm not too bothered but I know he could stretch himself more. I do think kids need to read around their level a bit rather than moving on in a linear way. Before that it was Horrible Histories and come to think of it he still reads those at times.

Every week in his school they have DEAR (drop everything and read) classes and as far as I can tell he's brought the PJ books in 90% of the time. Maybe I should be worried...

OnGoldenPond Mon 11-Mar-13 08:25:25

DD (13) devours books, spends a fortune on them, very varied tastes. Has read all Kazuo Ishiguro's, Frankenstein, Dracula, Handmaid's Tale, quite a bit of Bronte, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare. but also loves Hunger Games, Cherubs, Jody Picoult etc. She also does the reading 3 at the same time, don't know how she doesn't get completely confused! Thankfully she got past the Twilight phase 3 years ago!

I think it is important to encourage reading of a wide range of books so DC's don't get the idea that reading classics is a "chore". I love Margaret Attwood, Hardy, Brontes, Isabelle Allende etc, bit also love a good Lee Child as they are really well written and great to read. The common thread is that they are all well written and I ENJOY reading them. I find Dickens completely deadly and gave up on Little Dorritt after 20 pages. Life is too short!

DS at 11 needs quite a bit of encouragement to read but when prompted loves Michael Morpurgo and anything to do with WW2. Reading does not seem to come as naturally to boys.

Bink Mon 11-Mar-13 09:02:18

ds (nearly 14) has a Kindle stuffed with 'spies and lasers, Mum, now leave me alone' - he has a pocket money account and goes through the taster chapters and downloads things that fit his bill. (It's all around the Cherub genre, I think.)

He also reads more classic things - lots of science fiction (Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham), and recently Orwell - he's on Down & Out in Paris & London at the moment, which is a great read for a teenager.

OnGoldenPond Mon 11-Mar-13 09:12:09

Oh, I've got that Orwell in my pile of books to read - is he enjoying it?

DD has read Animal Farm and enjoyed, will pass on the other Orwell to her.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 11-Mar-13 10:20:51

DS1 (13) is currently reading Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent trilogy, which is set in a dystopian (future world) Chicago. It has a bit of a The Hunger Games vibe to it, but after finishing the first book in the series, DS1 has already declared it better than The Hunger Games.

DS1 likes to mix up his reading, so while he is currently reading a 'teen/young adult' novel, his previous book was Wuthering Heights. And no he wasn't reading it for school, he read it out of choice, as he likes the Kate Bush song of the same name. grin

ateacherwrites Mon 11-Mar-13 13:46:47

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LadyMaryQuiteContrary Mon 11-Mar-13 13:51:10

Ds (13) is going through Terry Pratchett's disc world books. All of them.

Pantah630 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:38:09

DS2, 13, currently has three on the go. Fatherland by Robert Harris, Passenger by Andrew Smith (sequel to The Marbury Lens) and a weighty tome about the Cold War, The Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum. He's a history buff and very interested in WW2. He devoured the Henderson Boys and Cherub books but is preferring more adult stuff now he's a teenager.

Pantah630 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:41:41

DS1, now 22, stopped reading anything but Top Gear magazine through his teenage years. He's dyslexic and recently started reading for pleasure again, currently Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. I'm so pleased he is getting pleasure from it, as it pained me that he disliked reading so much, especially as the rest of us are avid readers.

FrogPrincess Tue 12-Mar-13 12:16:44

dd (13) has always been a great reader, reading pretty much anything from Jane Austen to Twilight (3 years ago, and has now realized how awful it is for many reasons, and hates it!). At the moment she is into John Green and has just started Empire Falls by Richard Russo. I think she has the Great Gatsby lined up next.

booksteensandmagazines Wed 13-Mar-13 12:06:00

I found this article and find it sensible and reassuring:

Sometimes my sons read thought provoking books and sometimes they read fun books. Pretty much as I do. My main concern about teenagers is that there is someone - teacher/librarian/friend/parent - making them aware of the amazing books out there so they can make a good choice.

Alonglongway Wed 13-Mar-13 12:47:34

DD(15) is another John Green fan. She's currently trying out Stephen King's It, which I have not read but she reports it's slow to get into. DD(12) reads and re-reads obsessively so is on about her 4th time round the Cherub series at the moment and waiting for the next Michael Grant. We share a Kindle account too and I feed them each a new book every now and again when they seem fed up with what they have.

I don't mind them reading easy stuff - don't worry about DD1 at all but I do intervene a little with DD2 when she sticks to certain familiar authors. But she's rarely to be seen without her kindle so it's really only about trying to broaden her tastes.

ateacherwrites Wed 13-Mar-13 12:50:00

Might be helpful for either reluctant or dyslexic teens. Lots of useful links:

For dyslexic or reluctant teen readers

seeker Wed 13-Mar-13 12:51:32

In public or in private?

In public- Camus
In private-Jilly Cooper


cressetmama Fri 22-Mar-13 14:23:39

My DS processes visual information really slowly (but isn't technically dyslexic). He refused to read for years but now rising 14 is slowly working his way through Game of Thrones, after Cherub. We resorted to audio-books, which he adores and he is a good judge of the readers which lends an added dimension to his thoughts on lit crit. And he has a Kindle but not one that does text to speech. It has taken years and had us worried sick, but slowly slowly slowly (and fingers crossed) it seems to be resolving.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 22-Mar-13 22:36:46

I too don't really care what ds (12) reads but we do have a sort of 'house rule' which is an old book (re-read) has to alternate with a new book.

So, on his bedside table at the moment are Gone by Michael Grant (a new read); 13 and a Half Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers (a comfort re-read - though this is actually a giant tome of an adult fantasy novel but he's had the series since age 9); Bumface by Morris Gleitzman (reading together) and loads of comics (Simpsons, Phoenix etc); as well as a stack of non-fiction - he quite likes philosophy stuff by DK etc at the moment.

Audiobooks are an excellent alternative for dc who struggle but enjoy escaping into the world of fiction, and vlogs and youtube also fantastic for learning loads of different stuff (TED lectures are excellent).

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