Encouraging Teen reading through the Teens’ Top Ten

By Janene Hill, Young Adult Librarian

Since 2003, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has released an annual list of nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) List. The TTT is a “teen choice” honor list as chosen by teens throughout the country.
This year’s list contains 24 nominated titles, chosen by teen book groups from school and public libraries around the country, which nominate their favorite books of the previous year. Nominations are posted in April during National Library Week.
Teens are encouraged to read these titles throughout the summer, then vote for them during late August and early September. Winning titles will be announced via webcast during Teen Read Week, the third week of October.
Encouraging teens to read these books and take part in the voting not only is an easy way to find recommended titles, but gives teens a sense of inclusion in choosing the “best of the best” as chosen by their peers.
Using the TTT nominees as a catalyst, parents and caregivers can help get teens excited about reading and make time for their teens to read at home.
Studies show a regular reading habit makes teens better readers. YALSA president, Sarah Flowers, recently stated that “today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have. That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read.”
YALSA has created a list of many ways parents or caregivers can encourage teen reading. Some ideas include:
·    Set aside a regular weekly or daily time for the family to read.
·    Make reading aloud a family activity. Read to your kids as long as they’ll let you.
·    Read the same books as a family. Talk about them afterward. Allow each person in the family to have a chance to choose the reading material.
·    Share your favorite book with your teen.
·    Model reading for pleasure. Talk with your children about what you’re reading; make your enthusiasm for reading obvious to them. Explain how reading gives you pleasure while helping you learn about life and the world.
·    When a movie based on a book is released, read the book first. Then go to the movie together or rent the video. Afterward, talk about how the two compare.
·    If some kids don’t like to read or have difficulty reading, let them listen to audiobooks.
·    Visit the public or school library with your teen to attend a program or to check out materials.
Manhattan Public Library has copies of all of the TTT nominees, there are multiple copies of several, and some are also available in an audiobook version.
This year’s TTT finalists include:
All Good Children by Catherine Austen; Ashes by Ilsa Bick; Abandon by Meg Cabot; Tempest by Julie Cross; What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen; Wither by Lauren DStefano; Where She Went by Gayle Forman; Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen; Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge;  Legend by Marie Lu; Hourglass by Myra McEntire; Cinder by Marissa Meyer; Shine by Lauren Myracle; A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel; Across the Universe by Beth Revis; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; Divergent by Veronica Roth; Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys; The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater; How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr; All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Posted in: For Teens, Mercury Column

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