What do the Twilight, Hunger Games and Harry Potter books have in common? Teens enjoy reading them for the fun of it! This year Teen Read Week™ will be celebrated Oct. 14 – 20. Libraries, schools and bookstores across the world will offer a variety of special events and programs aimed at encouraging teens to read for pleasure and to turn to the library as a source for free reading materials.
Teens have so many demands on their time as well as options for entertainment that reading for pleasure often gets lost in the mix. Yet various studies show that teens who read for pleasure achieve more in school. Teen Read Week™ provides an opportunity for parents, teachers and caregivers to encourage and set aside time for teens to visit the library to find a great read.
“Believe it or not teens do enjoy reading,” said Young Adult Library Services Association President Jack Martin. “The challenge for parents is to get the right type of books into their teens hands. During Teen Read Week™ YALSA encourages parents, educators and caregivers to turn to teen services and school librarians, for help finding reading materials that their teens will enjoy reading.”
This year’s Teen Read Week™ theme is “It Came from the Library” and libraries are celebrating in a variety of ways.
For example, The Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, Zionsville, Ind., will test local teens’ tribute survival skills with an unofficial Hunger Games survival course. Registered teens will receive an orange backpack similar to the book’s heroine Katniss Everdeen and tips from a wilderness expert on how to find food, water and build shelter.
The Tulsa (Okla.) City-County Library will host a Zombie Prom. New York Times best-selling author Carrie Ryan, “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” will join teens for a zombie costume and walk-off contest, an apocalypse survival box challenge and zombie peg doll crafts. Attendees also will have their photos taken in the event’s zombie photo station.
Teen Read Week™ spokesperson John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars,” will host a kick-off event at the main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.
“I am so honored to be the spokesperson for this year’s Teen Read Week,” said John Green. “YALSA’s longstanding commitment to young adult literature has facilitated the careers of so many YA writers, including myself. In this media-drenched world, I am heartened and encouraged to know that there are so many teens reading widely and enthusiastically. It is truly a cause for celebration.”
Other library events and programs include write your own novel, movie screenings, building edible books and a variety of book clubs.
Teen Read Week™ is a national literacy initiative celebrated annually during the third week of October. The purpose of the event is to increase the number of teens who are regular readers and library users, as studies have shown that young people who read for leisure achieve more in school. It began in 1998 and is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association.
To learn more about Teen Read Week™ and for a list of events please visit www.ala.org/teenread .
For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA please visit www.ala.org/yalsa.