10 Must-Read Books for Young Adults

Are you looking for the best books for young adults? In a nutshell, the following are some of the things that should be considered when choosing a young adult book:

  • Theme of the book should be about coming of age, such as relationships and sexuality
  • The book should be below 300 pages
  • The main characters should be young adults as well
  • It should be written in an entertaining and non-technical format
  • Story should not be like a fairy tale

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?

Margaret, the main character in the book, was born from a Jewish dad and Christian mom. She was asked to choose a religion, and her confusion has been a recurring theme in the rest of the book. It also tackles her struggles in her years of puberty, such as with buying a bra. Judy Bloom, known for her young adult literature, does not fail to impress in this book.

Hatchet

Written by Gary Paulsen, the book tells the adventure of Brian Robeson, a 13-year old who was involved in a plane crash while he was on his way to visit his father. He was the only survivor from the crash and he was left with only one thing, a hatchet, which was a gift from his mother. His emotional struggle is a theme that will captivate many young adults.

Looking for Alaska

This is John Green’s first novel that is targeted for young adults and also one of the newest titles presented in this list. The author’s interpretations of a teen’s life, such as when it comes to love, intimacy, lies, and deceits, make it a good read. He does not struggle to tell a complicated, out-of-this world story, but one that many young adults would find to be realistic.

Matilda

This book tells the story about a girl with a smart wit. Matilda can teach the world a lot, especially because of her passion for reading. She may be belittled by the people around her, but this does not discourage her in anyway. This may inspire the young generation of today to read more and to widen their horizons.

The Book Thief

The story of this book revolves around a German girl in the name of Lissel. Some of the themes that are dominant in the story include mortality, love, war, identity, criminality, and courage. Although the story does not have a current setting, the way it was told can be inspiring and can provide valuable lessons, especially with regards to the power of words.

The Catcher In The Rye

Published in 1951, this is one of the classics in young adult literature. The story is told from a first-person point of view in a language that is cynical but funny and entertaining. It narrates rite of passage incidents that teens will find relatable. Angst, rebellion, and confusion are some of the themes that are dominant in the way the story was told.

The Fault In Our Stars

Hazel Grace, a teenage girl battling with a disease is the main character in this novel. During her participation in a support group, she met Gus. Both of the characters are having their own battles, yet they are able to make the most out of the time they have together. They travelled to Amsterdam and fulfilled many of their little wishes.

The Outsiders

This coming-of-age novel is another favorite in young adult literature because many of the events depicted can really happen in real life, even years after it was written. It has a timeless theme on how teens are in a struggle for social acceptance. It does not only talk about bullying and acceptance, but also social class and poverty.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

From the time it was published in 1999, it has been one of the most popular titles in contemporary young adult literature. The story is about Charlie, a young boy about to start with his high school life. His social awkwardness is one thing that many readers could relate to. The book is a combination of letters written by the main character.

To Kill a Mockingbird

This is considered to be one of the best works in American literature. Rape, race, and class are the things that are discussed in this book. It delves into things like the complications of life and how one should not be too quick to judge. Once you understand the message of the book, it can provide you with inspiration in ways more than one.

When You Should Begin Teaching Your Child To Read?

Reading is one of the essential skills every child must learn when growing up. There is no need to start formal schooling just for children to get started in reading. Some parents may not feel the pressure to act responsible enough to be the first teachers of their child, but in reality, it is part of being a parent. Your long list of responsibilities will include teaching your child to read. For most parents, the question, however, is when exactly do they start? Starting too early can be frustrating as a child may not yet have the mental ability to catch up. Starting too late, on the other hand, can be worse as your child may be lagged behind.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Young?

Definitely!  Regardless of how excited you are as a parent for your baby to finally be able to read, this is one thing that you cannot be and should not be pushy about. According to most researchers, those who are in their infancy and toddlerhood should not be taught how to read and it does not make sense to teach them because their mental ability won’t just allow them to read. They should never be forced to read at an age that is too young. They will not cooperate and more often than not, as parents, you will possibly just end up in frustration. While the parents have the right to make their babies do what they believe is best, if research is going to be the basis, you should just let babies be babies. Give them time to enjoy being young and being playful and when the right time comes, get them started on reading.

The Different Stages of Teaching Kids to Read

At the age of 4 to 5, you can already teach your kids pre-reading skills. Take note, however, that this is not yet teaching them how to actually read. Rather, it is just in preparation for the actual reading, which they should learn later on. Things such as syllable clapping and rhyming should be alright at this stage. If they have strong phonological skills before they even get started with schooling, there is a higher likelihood that they will be good readers. The following are some of the pre-reading skills that you should teach your child:

  • Substitution of words in rhymes
  • Writing some letters
  • Development of vocabulary
  • Uttering simple words

The best time to actually start teaching your child to learn reading is from the age of 6 to 10. Based on the timeline of physical development, this is the time where the pituitary glands start to develop, which gives them the ability to read. Somewhere between this age gap, they will already be able to recognize 3,000 words in a single glance and 100 phonics rules. At this time, they are ready to read. The following are some of the things they will learn:

  • Read simple books and recognize at least a hundred common words
  • Remember names and sounds of what they are reading
  • Understand how letters form unique sounds
  • Sound out words even if they are unfamiliar to them

By the age of 11 to 13, on the other hand, they must already know fully how to read and they must be taught how to read to learn. Their comprehension should have improved and they must already understand fiction and non-fiction and make sense of them.

Watch Out For Problems

It is also critical to take note of any problems that can be indicative of reading difficulty. Being confused with letters, pronouncing the wrong sounds, and skipping words are just some of the signs that you should be watchful of. If they have already finished first grade and if there are still problems reading, you might want to start talking to professionals and ask for possible solutions.

In sum, the best age to start teaching your child to formally read is at 6. Before that, however, you should already start building their pre-reading skills. At the age of 6, their neural connections already start to develop, allowing them to decode and combine letters, which is a starting point for reading.

How to Increase Children’s Reading Habit

How to Increase Children’s Reading Habit

As children grow, they need to acquire new skills, which will make them more prepared for the future. Among others, one that is essential would be reading. When it is the right time to get them started, parents should be responsible enough to take the necessary steps to teach reading to their kids. The problem, however, is that most kids will not be interested. More often than not, they would rather be playing than learning how to read. With this being said, keep on reading and you will know some of the things that can be done to increase the reading habit of children.

Be Involved

This is one of the most important things that parents should be doing. They should read with their children to provide them with encouragement. Even before children starts with formal schooling, their home is the first place where they can learn different things, including reading. Parental involvement is vital for children to learn how important it is to read. In addition, this will make parents role models to their children. If they can see parents reading, they are most probably going to mimic such act. Parents should find time to sit down with their kids and read together.

Increase Availability of Reading Materials

Children will not be encouraged to learn how to read if there are no reading materials at home. Therefore, one of the first steps is to invest in books, specifically the ones that are made for the young ones. If children are surrounded with books, it is more likely that they will consider reading a good activity. Make sure to have books with attractive graphics, which will be appealing based on the age of your children. If they are surrounded with thick books without images, they will most probably not have it touched.

Take It Slow

If children feel pressured, they would naturally resist and this will do nothing good in terms of improving their reading habits. Parents should know that there is such a thing as starting too early. When children are too young, their mental skills won’t allow them to read. Therefore, it would be best to get started around the age of 5 to 6. As they are taught how to read, parents should be as patient as possible. Definitely, they would not be good readers overnight or just after a couple of days.

Hangout in Bookstores or Libraries

When going out with kids, consider hanging out in libraries or bookstores. Some people might think that this is too geeky, but this is indeed one of the most effective ways in improving their reading habits. They will be more appreciative of books, and sooner or later, without having them forced, kids will love books and they can find joy in reading. There will even come a point that parents no longer have to force them. Kids will be the one to initiate a visit to the bookstore or library.

Have a Specified Time for Reading

Discipline is an important part of forming reading habits of children. At home, most parents have a rule that kids can only watch TV on a certain time. If there is such thing as TV time, parents should also establish a reading time and this should be strictly followed daily. It can last for a few minutes to about an hour. During the younger years of kids, it should be kept as short as possible since they may easily get bored. The best time is most probably afternoon as they still have the energy. Reading during bedtime may not be a good idea as they are already sleepy and will no longer be interested.

Give Rewards

This is one thing that can help in encouraging reading habits, but should never be overdone. Once a child finishes a book or demonstrates significant improvement in reading, give something as a prize. Rewards can include having a special snack or extra time in front of the computer or TV. Nonetheless, keep the token as simple as possible, but meaningful and make sure it will bring joy to the child. If the reward is something that is too big, kids may end up being materialistic, always wanting something in return for something that they do.

Strengthen your Reading Habit

It is a well understood fact that the habit is very enlightening and fun at the same time. It is one of those habits that can give a really good push to develop and excel in terms of knowledge. But, this fact cannot be negated that a lot of people do not get engaged in this activity.

As a habit, reading has a lot of advantages at multiple levels of personal, intellectual and emotional grooming. Thus, if you want to take a step further to excel, you might want to strengthen your reading habit.

Keeping in mind the need of strengthening the reading habit, we have compiled a list of ways that you can follow in order to get better with reading.

  1. Always have something to Read

Do not go anywhere without some reading material. There should be something to read all around you. Whether it’s the bed or the washroom or some other place just ensure that you can always find something to read. This availability of reading material will aid a lot in strengthening the reading habit.

  1. Work on Reading Goals

You should know that how many books you want to read in a particular time period. You might be thinking on different grounds by realizing how much time you have for the reading purpose. Just have a clear mindset about this and achieve the set goal.

  1. Keep track of the Progress

You would want to keep a proper record of your reading progress. Note down the time spent for reading and also how much you have read. Try to log everything as you be able to refer to it later. This will ensure that are able to see how much development have you shown in the reading habit of yours.

  1. Have a List

This list should have the name of everything that you have to read in the future. You might want to go for something that really interests or something that aligns with your goals and objectives in the long run.

  1. Remove all the distraction

When you are reading, you don’t want to get distracted. Turn off the television and remove all sorts of the distractions that you might have. Reading requires focus and to do that, it is really important that your attention is not diverted towards something that makes you lose focus on reading.

  1. Keep yourself busy

Whenever you are not reading, make sure that you are listening to something. Utilize your driving time while listening to the audio version of some book. In a nutshell, whenever you cannot read, make sure that you are listening to something productive.

  1. Join a Reading Community

Communities are a great way to connect and share your reading experiences. What happens is that all of the community members decide to read a book and after some time they all gather at the same place and share their opinions about the book. This is a great platform for socialization by virtue of discussing a book.

  1. Make frequent visits to the bookstores or Libraries

The more you visit these places, higher are the chances that you will develop interest to read more books. This will bring you closer to the reading habit. You will start reading more and more.

  1. Do whatever suits you the best

Everyone is wired in a different way. You might want to schedule your reading habits according to availability or the daily routine. Make sure that you choose a time when you can actually focus on reading and get the most out of it. Make sure that there are no distractions and you for the best possible slots for reading.