How to help your tween on their reading journey
Hi everyone, this week’s post is slightly different from the others this month. I will be imparting some bookish advice using my librarian skills. So, parents and teachers out there, you might want to settle in and see if this post will be helpful for you and your tween….
To begin with let’s get a quick crash course on the different fiction genres available for tweens.
So there’s Contemporary Fiction, those stories that are set in today’s world day about young people and something they might be experiencing. We might find funny stories or ones that delve into an important topic. Mystery Fiction, one of the popular ones, takes readers on a journey through solving a case, catching the bad guy and uncovering the truth. With Historical Fiction, readers are taken into the past and the characters might be based on an actual person or an imagined one. Then there’s Fantasy Fiction which takes readers to universes that are different to ours where magic is common and the laws of nature don’t apply. This is another popular genre with tweens followed closely with Adventure Fiction where young heroes are thrown into unexpected dangerous situations and are usually fast-paced with excitement and action. Next up there’s Science Fiction with its futuristic setting and advanced technologies. Some of the ones I’ve read sometimes are based outside of our galaxy!! And lastly we have Horror Stories, those stories that get your blood pumping and keep you watching over your shoulder for the unknown!!
There might be a few more out there, but these are the ones that seem to populate the shelves at my library!!
I hope the short introduction into the different fiction genres was helpful. From the years of being a librarian I have learned quite a few things when it comes to children and reading. While thinking about this post I endeavoured to do as much research into reading strategies for school-aged children and delved into websites both international and from New Zealand. A lot of what I read had several points in common.
So I have decided to give you my own version of these four fail-safe strategies to empower your tween as they embark on their own journey into reading!!
#1 – Your tween should be allowed to choose their own titles. Many international surveys suggest most children are more likely to read more for pleasure if they can choose their own books. I can’t agree more with them as I see it everyday. The families I encounter have tweens who read books in piles at a time and the one thing all those parents tell me is that all of the books are requested by the tweens themselves!!
#2 – For your tween to enjoy what they read once they are in school; the involvement by parents from a young age is imperative. Studies show that if books are valued by the whole family from a young age, reading for pleasure is likely to continue into adolescence. That level of involvement and commitment by parents is extremely powerful for a child’s literary empowerment.
#3 – Ensure that your tween has access to a diverse and attractive array of reading materials. If you can, create your own private library at home with books your tween enjoys. Should this be a bit on the expensive side, the next best option is to register tween into your local library!! Personally I’m advocating for the latter because a small branch library is often part of a larger network of libraries and your tween has access to more than just what’s on the shelves with their library card!! You can’t get more diverse than having access to millions of new and old titles from a click of a button!!
#4 – Give your tween access to knowledgeable and passionate reading role models. I suppose this is a fancy way of saying your tween should have readers in their immediate social circle. It could be parents, siblings, extended family, and close friends. Or it could be their teachers and school librarians!! When I was younger my close friends and I had a shared interest in the Enid Blyton books and those years form some of my fondest memories!! My sister and I had a habit of reading a book together when she was small!!
So there you have a little more from my knowledge as a librarian. When it comes to choosing genres or even titles, my best piece of advice is to listen to your tween with an open mind.
Stay safe and keep reading