Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick Tips: Getting Your Preteen or Teen to Read

Normally when I post quick tips, I've included the author's bio and picture. But these are my tips. If you're new to my blog, you may not know that much about me, so I'll include my brief author bio:

Kathy Cassel, M.Ed., lives with her husband, four of their eight children, and an assortment of pets in the Florida panhandle. Kathy is the author of thirteen books including: The Middle School Survival Manual (Concordia Publishing House, 2010), The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best, The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible, The Christian Girls Guide to Me: The Quiz Book, Just for Me: The Bible,  Just for Me: Friends, Just for Me: My Family (Legacy Press), One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible  (Tyndale, 2011), The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids  (Tyndale, 2013), Promises for God's Princesses (Tyndale 2014). 

Quick Tips: Getting Your Preteen or Teen to Read

Reading benefits everyone, but preteen and teen boys, even the ones who were avid readers in elementary school, are among the most reluctant readers. Getting them to read takes time, creativity and personal involvement.

  • Read aloud to all your children no matter their ages. Let the most reluctant reader choose the book or a book on CD. Read or listen to a chapter a day at dinnertime or bedtime. Or, draw your child into a book by reading an exciting portion of a book to your child and then hand it to him to read on his own.
  • Explore different genres of books with your child—biographies (especially of sports heroes), fantasy, science fiction, suspense, realistic fiction, science and technology and so on. Find out what he wants to read.
  • Find a way to tie the books to the real world. Use family vacations to visit the setting of a book. Look for movies based on the book and compare the book with the movie.

Some of the book/movie combinations we've done are:
Harry Potter
Hunger Games--reviews HERE and HERE
The Fault in Our Stars (parental guidance for sure! I will be reviewing on my teen blog soon)
City of Ember (will be reviewing soon)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Voyage of the Dawn Treader

You can check out my post about favorite teen novels HERE (These are all secular and not my personal list.)
What book/movie combinations have you read/seen and which did you like better--the book or the movie? Does it make a difference if you've read the book before seeing the movie or after?

What is your preteen/teen's favorite book?


  1. My kids are a little younger. My son reads The Seeker series, Redwall and the Dragon Keeper books. My daughters read The Chronicles of Narnia, The Charlie Bones series, the Black Stallion series and the American Girls books. I would like to find a similar set for older children. I would love to find the Christian equivalent of books like The Maze Runner, Charlie Bones, Harry Potter, and the John Green realistic fiction books. Any ideas for us? Ages 13, 10 and 9.

    1. It's not specifically Christian, but have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio? It's a wonderful book (no pun intended) about a kid with severe facial deformities who has to attend a regular school after years of being homeschooled. The author perfectly depicts the way people can react either negatively and positively to those who are/look different.

      Also, you are welcome to visit my blog where I review books for teens and tweens, both secular and Christian. I keep a running list of some of my faves:

    2. Thank you for sharing. That would be a hard situation. I have a child with eec syndrome and if people would notice the differences--some more obvious than others, they would stare.

    3. Hi Anonymous,
      My children really enjoy the Hank The Cowdog books. They are secular, but are written by a Christian and occasionally mention things like church. I have a YA book for girls out called "The Volk Advent." It is a mystery set in Siberia, Russia. I've heard good things about "My Name is River" and "Hope Girl" by Wendy Dunham and am really enjoying "Dead Possums Are Fair Game" by Taryn Sounders which is written by a Christian but is a secular book. I've also heard good things about "The Healer's Rune" by Lauricia Matuska which is a Christian YA, but I am on hold to receive it from the Library. Hope this helps and I let my sons (8,10, and 12) read my book although it is written for an older audience, it is not too scary for the younger ones. There is a murder mystery, but that is not dwelt upon overmuch. Hope you find some great books to enjoy.

  2. Hi, Anonymous. Kathy requested that authors make some suggestions here. I'd like to suggest one of my realistic books for girls, 8 Notes to a Nobody. It is read by ages 10 to 14 and gently addresses some serious issues that girls encounter in the middle-school years, if not before. The next book in the series is 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status, for ages 11 to 14, which helps girls understand the scary and sometimes heartbreaking experience of that first innocent crush on a boy. If you have any questions about my books, please feel free to email me:, or visit my website :-)