What is your teenager reading?(71 Posts)
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 ...?
Yay, a zombie thread -- how appropriate, given the first post!
Two years back, I posted this:
DS2 (13) appears to be simultaneously reading 'Gone' (sort of Hunger-Games-alike), The Book Thief, some kind of anime (or is it manga?) graphic novel, and some PG Wodehouse.
DS1 (16) is reading Top Gear magazine. Oh dear.
So, how did that pan out?
Well, today, DS2 is lying luxuriously in his room reading A Room of One's Own, Purple Hibiscus, and Hamlet.
DS1 is at work, but last night he was still reading Top Gear magazine...
DS1 (16) is reading The Boys from Brazil (Ira Levin)
DS2 (13) is reads autobiographies, currently Nick Leeson's.
Generally, they read factual books rather than fiction.
My dd 17 is reading the Poldark books, she's a voracious reader. Before that she was reading through all of Jane Austen and the vampire true blood books.
My ds7 reads anything and everything, and is reading the hobbit at the moment.
DS (13) had not read a book for ages, but got the Hunger Games for Christmas and devoured them. Now seems to have re-established the reading bug and is enjoying the first Hercule Poirot book. He has requested more Agatha Christie!
He loved reading when younger and by 11 had read all the standard Percy Jackson/Alex Rider/Young Bond etc, but got way laid by homework when starting secondary. HAs suddenly found that a bit of reading before bed helps him wind down and get to sleep.
Currently: re-reading the first Hitchhiker book interspersed with National Geographic and Harry Potter fanfiction. (NG mag, not NG/HP xover fanfic - though I'm almost tempted, having just re-read my post)
Generally: lots of YA dystopian stuff, John Green, lots and lots of fanfiction, whatever else randomly takes her fancy from the school library.
I read endless trash fantasy, so I can't really criticise her choices .
Ds 15 is currently reading The Bodyguard series by Chris Bradford. To be honest I don't worry about what he is reading, I am just glad that he has got to 15 and is still happy to curl up on the sofa with a book.
DS is reading some series by Bernard Cornwell. We share a Kobo account. I keep hoping he'll read some of mine, but so far, not so much. He is also reading To Kill A Mockingbird at school, and not enjoying it any more than I did...
Should I be worried about my ds (14) not really showing any interest in reading? He is bright, sporty and doing well at school but seems totally unmotivated to read. I love reading and have no idea how to get him in terested. Any advice appreciated!
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.
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
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!
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.
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 ) and some books from the TV series 24.
This was between the ages of 13-17
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.
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.
Dd1 (13) is currently not reading anything as I have confiscated her kindle until her bedroom is clean
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 , presumably so she can read manga in the original language.
John Green is great, btw, really good, quirky books. And popular with boys almost as much as girls in my experience.
Ds 17 is reading a physics book by the actor/comedian Ben Miller. Dd probably something by John Green
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).
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.
In public or in private?
In public- Camus
In private-Jilly Cooper
Might be helpful for either reluctant or dyslexic teens. Lots of useful links:
For dyslexic or reluctant teen readers
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