A Tween Experience

This summer we hosted our 12-year-old nephew for two weeks.

He loves to read, too. He arrived with Return of the King, having just read the first two books of the Lord of the Rings trilogy at his grandparents’ house. He quickly moved on to one of the Heir books by Cinda Williams Chima. Then a book I had reserved for him after reading about it in Publisher’s Weekly, X-Isle by Steve Augarde. Then he picked out The Chaos Code by Justin Richards. Then I bought him The Hunger Games (I was shocked he hadn’t already read that).

He liked everything, but especially The Chaos Code and The Hunger Games. In fact, he keeps raving about The Hunger Games (Yippee! Another convert! They are making a movie of this – if you have not already read it, do so now).

But in between those last two books, we hit a wall. I picked various books off the library’s YA shelves. Some he rejected just from the title, others after reading the inside flap. Then we went downstairs to the middle grade section and we had the same problem. He had already read all that he wanted to read (with the exception of The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan which was unfortunately already out).

He would not consider any contemporary fiction. I was shocked at the number of good boy books he is missing out on. He says he only reads contemporary fiction he has to read for school.


Well, we must choose our battles and at least he loves to read. But I couldn’t believe he would rather leave the library empty-handed.

Have you had a similar experience with a reader close to your heart? What did you do?



Filed under Reading, The rest of my life

2 responses to “A Tween Experience

  1. I think this happens more with boys than girls. It certainly did with my two boys, but not my daughter.

    There seems to be a dearth of boy books, compared to the tremendous amount of titles for girls. Also, so many teachers, who happen to be women, look down on books that appeal to young guys, such as Captain Underpants, Ricky Riccotta, graphic novels, and The Time Warp Trio. So we’re losing them at the middle grades.

    In my opinion, let them read what they want, even if it appears to be silly and pointless. Once they develop that love of reading, the meatier literature will follow.

    Thank goodness for Jon Scieszka and his GuysRead.com website. It’s loaded up with books guys will enjoy, as well as some facts about the reading habits of boys. Maybe your nephew can find some interesting new books to read at GuysRead.

  2. vtremp

    There are certainly more books for girls than boys. Yet there are many books my nephew wanted to read, they just weren’t at our library at the time. What surprised me is that he was willing to leave the library with nothing, rather than try a book that didn’t immediately appeal to him. I can’t do that. I must have something to read. And you never know when a book might surprise you.

    I agree that we should let kids read whatever genre they choose. Thanks for weighing in, Suz!

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