How To Help Your Teen Become An Avid Reader


Reading often appears last on teenagers long lists of extracurricular activities. To some, it may even feel like a chore or punishment. But, we know that reading is a vital skill – even in a world with self-driving cars and intelligent robots. Books are also a wonderful source of escape and entertainment. So, to help you and your reluctant-to-read teen, we have come up with a few handy tips and tricks to make reading fun again. Plus, we have added a list of the most hotly anticipated Young Adult novels expected out in 2019. Happy reading! 

How To Help Your Teen Become An Avid Reader

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I have never quite understood people who dislike reading. If I could, I would spend an entire year on an island devouring all the books I have stacked in my ‘must-read-before-I-die‘ pile. Nevertheless, I do understand that to some, this would be a complete nightmare. Especially teens with far too much free time and access to the internet.

Full disclosure – I am not a parent. But, I have had numerous discussions with my teenage family members about their reluctance to read in their free time. I have spoken to their tired-out parents too, about the struggle to get their kids to ‘pick up a book for a change‘. While I may be no expert on the matter, I do have a few tips and tricks to share when it comes to getting people to read more.

Start them out young 

Parents know the importance of reading to their children, yet many seldom do it. Even those who do, sometimes lack dedication to the cause. Similarly, if you aren’t a reader yourself, teaching your child to love literature is likely to be a struggle. Embrace the challenge of turning yourself into a book worm by reading to your child every day. Eventually you will grow so tired of reading the same book over and over again (don’t kid yourself, every child has that one favourite book), that you will look for something more suited to your own taste.

Even as your child learns to read for themselves, continue to talk to them about what they are reading. Take them on frequent trips to the library (this is a building that houses books; just in case you had forgotten) or nearby bookstores. Pick out a series to read through with them, whether it be a classic like Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ or something more contemporary. You could also reach out to friends for book swaps or reading get-together’s.

reading

When you’ve left it too late

There is no judgement here, we promise. But, even if you haven’t invested time in your child’s reading habits before their teen years, it’s never too late. The key to triggering the reading bug in your teen is to find out their interests (easier said than done, we know). Understanding your child’s fascinations is the gateway into picking their potential favourite reads. You can learn a lot from the types of films, music and school subjects they enjoy. Many parents make the crossover from film into novels by investing in book series that have been turned into blockbuster hits. Make it a challenge to read the book before watching the movie. Or, encourage your teen to go back and read the book versions of their favourite movies.

Adolescent boys are particularly well known for being reluctant readers of fiction. A great way to get your teen reading up a storm is to turn to technology for help. Audio books and ebooks are readily available on cell phones and tablets. While this way of reading may seem counterproductive, teens should be willing to embrace it.

audio book

Young Adult Novels to look out for in 2019

Fantasy & Romance

‘Chain of Gold: The Last Hours’ by Cassandra Clare 

New York Times best selling author Cassandra Clare presents a new Shadowhunter trilogy set in Edwardian England in 2019. This long-running fantasy series boasts a feature film and a three-season streaming series to go along with the collection of thirteen books. Featuring angsty teenage romance, avenging angels, demons, vampires and nixies, this is one fantasy series teens are bound to love.

‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Season of the Witch’ by Sarah Rees Brennan

Season two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is due to premiere on Netflix in coming months. To coincide with the series premiere, Sarah Rees Brennan has authored a prequel novel inspired by the show’s first season. The book is expected out in winter 2019.

From The Box Office

‘Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Although this novel by Julie Murphy was published in late 2018, the film adaptation starring Jennifer Aniston has only recently hit South African box offices. Why not order the book online from Exclusive Books before heading out to the cinema?

Willowdean Dixon, a self-proclaimed ‘fat girl’ takes on her small town’s beauty pageant. Follow this fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroines’ journey to self-acceptance.

Non-Fiction

‘We are Displaced’ by Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai shares hers and other refugee girl’s stories in this autobiographical novel due out in early 2019. This is one for older teens with an interest in world politics and true life stories.

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