This week (October 14 to 20) thousands of libraries, bookstores, and schools across the country are celebrating Teen Read Week, an initiative intended to encourage teens to read, just for the fun of it. According to Teen Read Week’s publicity materials, literacy rates for teenagers have been stagnating for the past 30 years, and the number of teens who are able to read but choose not to do so for fun is increasing. However, being able to read and process information is a vital skill in our data-driven society. As adults and role models to younger readers, it’s our job to encourage teens to read for pleasure, as daily reading for fun is instrumental in instilling reading habits for life.
To create a love of reading in teens, I think we need to recommend books that really are enjoyable for younger audiences to read — books that aren’t classics like the ones that often bore students in English classes, but that are interesting and relatable and unputdownable. Since my teenage years weren’t too long ago, I present to you my favorite books when I was a teenager (omitting Harry Potter because, I mean, duh). Continue reading