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.


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” ( 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 Paille is the founder of the Canadian Metaphysical Foundation. She’s married and the mother of two children.—Your-Teen-Needs-to-be-Reading?instance=home_news_bullets

Comments ( 6 )

    • Tammy Ruggles says:

      Great tips for getting teens to read, and interesting blog.

    • Michelle @ Oh! For the Love of Books says:

      This is a tough topic. As a high school English teacher I have kids who walk in the door who hate to read. I mean HATE. It take a lot of work to break down those walls to get them to pick something up and read it. I agree with your steps – reading does not have to consist of a novel. I find short stories, graphic novels, and magazine work the best in the beginning of turning around a reluctant

    • RhiannonPaille says:

      Hey Michelle! <br /><br />I agree, some kids just do not read, no matter the circumstance. I&#39;d like to throw an audiobook at their iPod. <br /><br />And re: Twilight, it did start a reading phenomenon, now lots of people are exploring YA to see what else the genre has to offer. And I&#39;m sure like ms they&#39;re finding books they like a lot more than Twilight. <br /><br />:) thanks for

    • Colleen says:

      Congrats on the recognition for the article, and they really are great tips! My brother used to be one of those who hated reading (as a kid he always kind of read like a robot because he found it so tedious)…but then he found out about the Star Wars novels, and devoured them. Harry Potter got him into reading other genres, and from there he finally got into bigger fantasy and sci-fi novels

    • RhiannonPaille says:

      Thanks Colleen! Honestly? I think a lot of people who don&#39;t read are missing out on the great things books have to offer. So I completely understand why he&#39;d be kicking himself. I mean there&#39;s only so many TV shows and movies out there, books are in the thousands and there&#39;s always a great story to uncover. Half the time books are better than TV and Movies . . . :)

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