Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teen Read Week

This week is Teen Read Week, a week dedicated to encouraging teens to read books that aren't required for school. Reading for pleasure is clearly a concept we're all familiar with as book bloggers, so I was really pleased to learn about Teen Read Week.

A couple of scary facts:
*2/3 of employers consider reading comprehension an important skill for high school graduates, but 38% of employers consider most high school graduates deficient in this basic skill.
*Reading scores for 12th-graders have fallen significantly in the past decade.
~Taken from The Half Price Blog 40 Books For Teens to Read Outside of School post

The Half Price Blog polled 3,000 readers and asked what books they read as teens and what books they'd read if they were a teenager now. Here are the 40 books they came up with:
Source ~ click image to enlarge
Marked in purple - books I've read
Marked in blue - books on my tbr read

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
3. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
4. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
6. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
7. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
8. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
9. The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Chris Crutcher
10. Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
11. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
12. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
13. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. Knee Deep in Thunder by Shelia Moon
15. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
16. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
17. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
18. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
19. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King
20. Pure by Julianna Baggott
21. Twilight by Stephanie Myers
22. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
23. Mister Monday by Garth Nix
24. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
25. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
26. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
27. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
28. Battle Royale: The Novel by Koushun Takami
29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
30. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
31. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
32. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
33. Book Thief by Markus Zusak
34. The Diviners by Libba Bray
35. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
36. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
37. The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
38. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
39. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
40. Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black

Out of these 40 books, I've read five (I started The Perks of Being a Wallflower several months ago but couldn't get into it...I might give it another shot eventually). Only one of them - Anne of Green Gables - did I actually read as a teen (let me just say that I've been out of my teens for awhile now...I'll be 29 two months from today...so a lot of these books hadn't even been written). 

As for books I would recommend to teens, I 100% agree with Harry Potter (the entire series), Anne of Green Gables, and The Hunger Games. Here are some others I would recommend (links lead to my reviews; the first three were read long before I started blogging):

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell 
Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Why these books? Quite simply, they're all beautifully written, engaging, and have a message to them that I think would be important and relevant to teens. I actually wish these books had been around when I was a teen; even though I've always been a reader, there was a time in high school when I didn't do much non-required reading. If there had been books like this, I probably would have done nothing but read! 

I truly believe that the right book, along with having someone in your life who advocates and encourages reading can make all the difference - I hope to be that person for my two nephews, as well as my own kids someday.

What were some of the important books you read as a teen? Are there any that shaped you as a reader? What books would you read now if you were a teenager, or recommend to teenagers to get them into reading?


  1. Is it okay if I might be inspired and do this on my blog aswell :)

    Great blog post..

    I would definitly recommend Hunger Games :)

  2. Of course! I was hoping it would inspire other people to make their own lists and spread the word. :-)

  3. Interesting. I actually want to read most of these...well, the ones I haven't already. But there are some that I've no desire to read even if they are well loved.

  4. For me, it's been lots of books that were very relevant while I was a teen, and when I turned 18, and even now in my 20's. I should totally do this type of post too! Maybe I can put it together Thursday, because I'm off work that day. :) I say, great choices on the ones you wrote up (esp. Wanderlove! I still need to read a few of those). Thanks for sharing! I love this. :)

  5. Here is my list :)

  6. What a great list. I read the Sweet Valley and BabySitters Club books as a teen, but I'm not so sure that will work well with the teens now-a-days. I definitely recommend HP and THG as well, but they should also check out the He Said/She Said trilogy if they're into YA contemporary.


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