Young Adults

NPR : Getting Kids to Read

NPR has Getting Kids to Read. All the vacation book lists and reading games in the world aren't enough to get some kids to pick up a book over the summer. Children's authors keep trying new tactics to entice young readers -- but is it working? We look at the whys and hows of getting kids to read.
They also have Summer Reading Picks from Local Bookshops.


You're Reading....What?

Steven M. Cohen writes "From WSJ:

Hilary Armstrong was happy to see her 12-year-old daughter Katherine reading at the kitchen table one afternoon -- until, that is, she glanced at the back of the book jacket. "I was mortified," says Mrs. Armstrong. The book, which her daughter got from a friend, had a blurb on the back that read, "After all, no one really wants to go to college a virgin.""


Problem with "problem" YA fiction

gsandler writes "Here is a provocative essay at Slate
on contemporary Young Adult fiction. "The real trouble with such issues-oriented contemporary fiction is that it encourages what you might call (in Jeanne Kirkpatrick style) literary equivalence: The genre, as teachers have discovered with the help of accompanying guides, lends itself to trendy and tidy didacticism. And so the books can end up as assigned reading for older kids precisely when these students deserve to be discovering the difference between real literature and the melodramatic fictional equivalent of an Afterschool Special."



Pop Culture Does A Mind Good

GregS* writes "When the ultimate curmudgeon gives a postive outlook to pop culture notice should be taken. John Derbyshire reviews Everything Bad Is Good For You and discusses why we have an culture that is "intellectually demanding".

Rochelle adds this NPR interview with the book's author.


In chick lit, girls rule

Anonymous Patron writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Registration MAY be required) carried the story In chick lit, girls rule, a piece which relates the explosive popularity of books for teen girls:

"Since the late 1990s, teen chick lit -- think Bridget Jones in high school -- has been gaining popularity, reaping profits for publishers and booksellers, prompting established adult authors to target younger audiences and giving teens and tweens (9- to 12-year-old girls) their own heroines.

"Chick lit "is still growing each year by double digits," said Joe Monti, national young-adult buyer for Barnes & Noble. "I can't see a ceiling yet, and I can't even gauge when that ceiling will be hit."



Pew Internet & American Life Project: Teens Online

Blake writes "Here's A New Pew Internet & American Life Project Report that says More than half of American families with teenagers use filters to limit access to potentially harmful content online. But both teens and parents believe that teens do things on the internet that their parents would not approve of."


Manga: Racy Fluff --or--Reading Aid?

What are kids reading these days? Many are reading manga, the Japanese graphic novels that can offer extreme sexist stereotypes and gratuitous situations, atypical if what you're used to is the American version of comic book heroes and villains.

At Deering High School in Portland ME, the manga collection is so popular that it needs to be kept under lock and key to prevent theft. This story from the Portland Press Herald tells how many middle and high school students find the novels both fascinating and off-putting; parents, librarians and comic-book store owners weigh as well on this popular genre.


Kew loses over 800 years of history

The Telegraph Reports More than 1,600 historical records, some of which date back to the 12th century, have gone missing from the National Archives in Kew.

Details obtained by The Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 1,672 original documents have disappeared. The papers, which span more than 800 years of British history, include 21 records from the private offices of various prime ministers and 24 Cabinet Office documents.


Schools told: don't make pupils read same books year after year

Julie Henry, Education Correspondent for The Telegraph Reports Secondary schools are to be given new Government guidelines to improve children's reading in response to evidence that pupils are reading the same books in different years.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has expressed concern that the range of texts taught in schools is too narrow. The same novels are now being taught to pupils as they progress through schools, according to the watchdog.


Teen Literacy

Colleen Mills Williams writes "U.S. News & World Report has an article on teen literacy written by Anne McGrath. On the contents page, the tagline begins "EDUCATION: Attention, teens, this is a book..."

Willard Brown teaches chemistry at Skyline High in Oakland, Calif. But what he really hopes his students master on their way to learning science is a skill most people, the teenagers included, assume they nailed long ago: the ability to read. Too often, he says, students have an incomplete notion of what reading actually means. "They think, 'My eyes passed over the page, and I pronounced all the words.' They don't notice that they really didn't get it."



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