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How to Start a Tween Reading

by Ronald A. Rowe | March 19th, 2015 | Entertainment, Tweens

girl reading (400x400)Do whatever is popular.  That is generally spectacularly bad advice.  But when it comes to reading and Tweens, that just may be the way to go.  If you have a Tween who is not overly enthusiastic about reading, try getting him or her to try the latest fad in Young Adult literature.

Now, you will probably want to do your own research first.  If all the girls in your daughter’s class are reading Fifty Shades of Grey you probably ought to go another route – and maybe consider a transfer to another school where the seventh grade culture does not include sado-masochistic  pornography.  But assuming that your school conforms to more age-appropriate literature, introducing your child to the book that is currently making the rounds of popular culture is a good way to get her excited about reading.

Young Adult literature is a big business.  Ever since the movie Titanic opened the eyes of the world’s corporations to just how big a market there is in appealing to Tweens, the marketing machine has been churning overtime.  These companies are desperately trying to produce content that will appeal to the 10-13 set yet still be acceptable to the parents, who (usually) make the ultimate buying decision.  Thus was born a multi-billion dollar industry.

The upshot of this economic dynamic is that there are plenty of good books for Tweens out there.  Most of them come in a series.  There were three books in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series, four of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight sage, and a whopping seven in J.K. Rowling’s blockbuster series of Harry Potter books.  Each was incredibly popular and all three continue to sell as new readers enter the Tween years.

From Lois Lowrey’s Giver Quartet to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books there is something for every taste.  The trick is to lock into your child’s interests and the powerful lure of subculture.  If your child’s friends are reading the Mortal Instrument series and you can get her to give it a try, she will instantly be initiated into a club of young people who know the story, care about the characters, and “get” the references dropped into conversation around the lunch table.  Once that connection is made, it will be easy – effortless, even – to get her to read the rest of the series.

Don’t despair if your son or daughter has not been bitten by the reading bug before junior high.  There is still time.  In fact, at this age where peer pressure and conformity are such big issues you have a unique opportunity to inspire him or her to read.  And if you can accomplish that task you will impart a gift that will last long after the the middle school years have passed into memory.

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