Tag Archives: personal reading list

Teen Time

TRW14_1000x200I have a newly minted teenager in the house, which is probably why the pronouncement of Teen Read Week from Oct. 12-18 caught my attention. If you haven’t heard, the Young Adult Library Services Association and Blink–a young adult imprint–have partnered to sponsor events at public libraries around the country designed to motivate teens to read.

My 13-year-old daughter happens to be an avid reader. Like most young teens, however, she’s extremely busy with school work and activities. She rarely has free time, and when she does, so many other outlets are vying for her attention–watching Netflix, texting friends, painting toenails, torturing little brothers, etc.–that sitting down to savor a book can fall pretty far down her list of ways to spend time.

As her mom, I find myself actively encouraging my teen to make time to read. Not only is reading a great way for teenagers to develop and expand their minds, but it also can offer a much-needed and relaxing escape from the constant barrage of social and academic pressures that hammer away at kids today.

In honor of Teen Read Week, my daughter and I have come up with a list of five must-read teen novels, in no particular order: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Check out the list of 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels accumulated by NPR. What are your favorites?


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Back to the Grind

Back-to-SchoolThis summer, my two older kids went to sleepaway camp for a few very long weeks. I missed them, of course, but despite several big projects swirling around at home, I was able to devour some of the titles that had been piling up for months on my desk. Some favorites included Sutton by J.R. Moehringer, Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay and Peony by Pearl S. Buck. I also read my friend Melissa Schorr’s sweet teen novel Goy Crazy.

I know many parents who view the end of summer with a sense of relief. Some of them work at jobs with a set schedule and struggle to find ways to transport their kids to activities during the days when school is not in session. Some stay at home and get fed up being a 24-7 activity planner for several months straight.

For me, the beginning of September felt a little more bitter than sweet last week as my three kids zipped up their backpacks and headed back to their three respective schools (pre-, elementary and middle schools). I will miss our relaxing summer days. And although I appreciate the abundant opportunities available to kids in our community, I also find the meticulous schedule juggling and seemingly endless chauffeuring around town to be a serious bummer. At least I can hope to read a few pages while I wait in the car for my daughter to finish her dance lessons!

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