Category: reading

How can you get your teens to read?

Hey everyone!

So I was featured in an article that was published everywhere. I talked about teen literacy, and how happy I am that teens in Canada were ranked pretty high compared to other countries. The article is below along with all the places it’s appeared so far.

I don’t know whether to be shocked or to squee or what. I’m always rather informal on my blog so being considered an advocate for teen literacy makes me feel a little nauseous. I think teens should be reading, but that’s because there’s awesome stuff in books that you can’t go to a movie or a mall for. (Well except for the Hunger Games.)

Anyway, hope everyone is having a great Friday! I’m editing . . . which is excruciating.

Namaste,
Rhi

To Ensure a Bright Future,
Your Teen Needs to be Reading
Author Offers Tips for Getting Adolescents to Turn the Page

Being able to read well is more important than ever for young adults to achieve economic success. But more than 60 percent of middle and high school students score below “proficient” in reading achievement, according to a December 2011 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education.

“Teen literacy is a huge problem in the United States – its 15-year-olds rank 14th among developed nations in reading – behind Poland, Estonia and Iceland,” says Rhiannon Paille, 27, an advocate for teen literacy whose new fantasy novel, “Flame of Surrender” (yafantasyauthor.com) targets young adults. (South Korea, Finland and Canada rank 1st, 2nd 0020and 3rd.)

“Kids need strong reading skills if they hope to graduate from high school AND they really need to plan for college – 59 percent of U.S. jobs today require some postsecondary education, compared to 28 percent in 1973.”

The best thing parents can do to help boost their 12- to 18-year-olds’ literacy is to get them reading – anything.

She offers these suggestions:

• Buy them comic books. Boys persistently lag behind girls in reading, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Paille says. If your son isn’t a reader, try getting him hooked on comic books. “Stephen King started off reading comics, ‘Tales from the Crypt.’ Hey, if it was good enough for him …!’’ From comic books, they may move into graphic novels, a popular young adult genre. As long as they’re reading, they’re building comprehension skills and vocabulary, so it needn’t be “War and Peace.”

• Look for book-to-film novels. Chances are, if it was a great movie, they saw it, and that’s often enough to get a non-reader curious. This is another especially good hook for boys, Paille says.

• Tune into what they’re interested in. What kinds of video games do they play? Some popular games have spawned novels, including Halo, EverQuest, ElfQuest and Gears of War. Even gaming guides, which players read to unlock new clues to advancing in the game, can motivate a teen to crack a book.

• Read the same book your teen is reading. Book clubs are popular because people like talking to others who’ve read the same book. Your teen may not be ready for an evening of petit fours and grape juice while discussing the pacing of “Hunger Games,” but it can make for some interesting conversation on the way to soccer practice. And you can always nudge them along with comments like, “Oh, you haven’t gotten to that part yet? It’s really good!”

“People tend to think their young adults aren’t reading if they’re not reading novels,” Paille says. “But novels aren’t for everyone, and whether it’s a comic book or a gaming guide, all reading helps build comprehension skills and vocabulary.”

Good magazines, with shorter articles suited for distractible adolescents, might include Sports Illustrated, People, Seventeen or Mad.

“When you’re out shopping, think about what they’re interested in and pick up something just for them. Sometimes, it’s as simple as putting the right reading materials right into their hands.”

About Rhiannon Paille:
Rhiannon Paille is an active advocate for youth literacy and an avid reader of young adult novels. Her first book, the non-fiction “Integrated Intuition: A Comprehensive Guide to Psychic Development,” remains a popular seller on amazon.com. Paille is the founder of the Canadian Metaphysical Foundation. She’s married and the mother of two children.

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Top 10 Reasons why Writers don’t Read as much as Readers do

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. When I was aspiring, I devoured books, often 10-13 per month. Now that November has come and my book is on the shelves, I’ve barely read at all. I finished The Night Circus in October, but because of Comic Con, I couldn’t finish anything else. I do plan on changing this in the future because I have about ten books I do intend on reading plus a ton for 2012, but here’s my reasons for not reading as much. That there on the side? That’s the last book I finished.

#10: People keep asking me to write things for them.

No I’m not joking. I’m published so that means I can write things. Apparently my writing is acceptable enough to be on the shelves, therefore others believe they can throw me more work to do. I’m flattered, really, but I’m busy enough already.

#9: My publisher told me he wants the next book ready by March.

I had a battlestar galactica moment and couldn’t stop saying frak. I also had a panic attack and we’ve renegotiated. I think we’re both okay with May. I’d be fine with October to be completely honest, but we’ll see.

#8: People want to celebrate and be friends with me.

Do you realize how much work it is to have friends in real life? They’re awesome, but when they all want to have coffee with you it becomes a bit weird. I’ve found myself attempting to put people together who wouldn’t normally get along. I’m trying to plan a book release party so that I can get this whole socializing over and done with. (Aha so I can go back to writing things) I still love them of course, but I need to work too.

#7: My house is a mess.

Well it was but my kids have been cleaning it. That’s right, laundry, vacuuming, disinfecting the bathroom. The only thing they don’t do is dishes. Speaking of which . . .

#6: My husband and kids wanted some attention.

My husband just wanted to go out with me for a change and my kids wanted me to watch a movie with them. They also wanted to draw some pictures for me. They’re all cool with me writing books as long as it’s not the only thing I do. If I’m writing and then I go stick my head in a book . . . I’m in trouble. Actually my four year old reminded me that I hadn’t done my chores yet.

#5: Other authors write differently than I do.

It’s true. I love Maggie and Cassie but they don’t write exactly the way I do. Sometimes reading their books sucks the creativity right out of me. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Some days it’s easier to let everyone else write things while I do other things like event planning and reading minds. Either way, sometimes when the wheels are turning, I NEED to not read anything because it’ll mess with my groove.

#4: The Green Eyed Jealousy Monster

I wrote a great book, but everyone is buying this other great book. It must mean I’m not good enough. Yeah, we can find fifty ways to Sunday around this one but the argument never changes. Just a little envious of the other books out there.

#3: I edit when I read.

Any published author has been through the excruciating editing process so they know how it is. When they go back to reading it’s like the things they edited in their own novels they pick out in other people’s novels. It’s really hard to stop doing that and to just enjoy a book for a change.

#2: I might not like the next book I read and since I review books, I don’t want to give out a bad review.

It’s like flipping TV channels trying to find something good to watch. I go through the first 5% of a book, put it down, move onto another book, read another 5%, put it down, read another, and so on and so forth until something just makes me stay. I have no idea what makes me stay with a book, but something does. I don’t like giving out bad reviews and so I tend to just put them on a DNF list and forget about it.

#1: I need to spend more time writing than reading.

It’s just the truth. As a writer I DO need to read, but I also need to write things. I can’t be stuck reading books until the cows come home. Sure, if I wasn’t publishing books I would read more, but when you have only 6 months to turn out a product, and you want that product to be just as good as everything else out there, you do have a tendency to close the cave walls and isolate yourself from everyone.

I’ll be going back into the cave soon, though I don’t know which project I’ll be tackling next. I have 3.5 more books to write in 1 series, then 2 more series to write, one is 3 books, the other is 4 books. If you were counting that’s 10.5 books I have to write.

*sigh* Sadly, I might not be reading a lot in the next year.

Namaste,
Rhi

Some Official Book News . . .

The pretty press release, feel free to repost this on your blog!

Coscom Entertainment welcomes DEBUT author Rhiannon Paille

The boy who follows death, meets the girl who could cause the apocalypse. That’s what sold Rhiannon Paille’s YA Fantasy, Flame of Surrender, to editor-in-chief A.P. Fuchs of Coscom Entertainment.
Fuchs has been active in the publishing field since 2004, having published 23 of his own books and collaborations to date. He’s the editor-in-chief of the premier house of monster and superhero fiction, Coscom Entertainment.

“I’ve always been a sucker for fantasies and the potential they hold for a rich and amazing story. Rhiannon’s book not only has that potential, it’s delivered on that potential. Readers will love it when it hits the shelves.” – Fuchs

Paille has been active in the comic con community for the past five years, acting as a Head Coordinator for the Central Canada Comic Con. She began writing The Ferryman and The Flame in 2009 and plans to turn it into a six book series. Flame of Surrender, the first installment of The Ferryman and The Flame, is about a boy that is destined to become the Ferryman, falling in love with a girl who is a Flame, one of nine individually handcrafted weapons that could cause the apocalypse.

“This story means a lot to me. It’s about kissing and death and tragic endings. I’m excited to be working with A.P. because he shares my vision for the book.” – Paille

Flame of Surrender will be available November 1st, 2011. Be sure to check out Coscom Entertainment’s booth at the Central Canada Comic Con, October 28th – 30th www.c4con.com and pick up your copy of Flame of Surrender before it hits the shelves! For more information, please visit www.rhiannonpaille.com or www.coscomentertainment.com