In my childhood, every summer was framed like bookends with the novels I would read. I read on the beach, I read on the sofa, I read in the lawn chair, I read lying on my drying raft, I read at the dinner table, I read on the porch, I read in my lazy summer bed where there was no alarm clock.
My children are both avid readers. When my son was a boy, my frequent parental complaint, yelled across rooms and campsites, was Put. That. Book. Down. When my daughter was younger, her first day of summer vacation was marked by a stop at the library to pick up the chart she would use to catalogue completed books— her goal was to fill each line before August.
Each July, as my then-husband and I packed the car with summer accoutrement on our way to vacation in Vermont, the camping stove and bicycles could hardly compete for space with the stacks of hardcover books toppling across four states.
I am a book snob. I believe children are capable of reading very advanced concepts delivered through classic literature. But let’s face it. Our kids need to find themselves in books, first and foremost, in order to embrace the love of reading. As a child I may have first understood the depths of reader transformation through The Catcher In The Rye, but I also raced to read every single word Judy Blume sent to her publisher.
I know our teens have summer reading lists provided by their schools. But they should also explore books, self guided, in the areas of their own interest.
As such — I saw the following “popular teen titles” in the book store. Even as I was repelled by the overriding fantasy theme, I was swept up in a few of the descriptions. In many ways, there is something here for every teen.
There’s a world out there— in words— so encourage your teen to explore one of these popular books!