Saturday, December 14, 2013

BEST Books for Older Teens with Reading Challenges

Second article in a series of 3 (different age groups)

It can be daunting for a parent or teacher to successfully find just the right book for the older teen who is struggling to read. No matter what the cause of the reading issue, a teen’s self-esteem can be significantly affected by this struggle. Most teens just “want to blend in” and be “normal”, often times avoiding strategies and cumbersome tools that can cause them to “stand out” or not be “like everyone else.”

To help older teens (and adults) with these issues, it can be a real lifesaver to own an e-book or iPad to help them “blend in” with their friends who have no reading issues. In fact, having access to this technology can positively impact their reading experiences---and it’s COOL, too!

Most e-books have matte-type screens to help readers with lighting and glare issues. These tech devices can also allow the reader to increase font size when needed. In addition, the non-white background of text pages can help readers who experience visual stress with the usual white pages of a traditional text.

Another option to keep in mind is that audio books might be a good option, especially for an auditory learner. These types of “listening” books are available at local public libraries and in bookstores. Many are even FREE and easily accessible online (see link below here).

Besides addressing the reading struggles for an older teen, there is the problem of finding the right book, the book that will increase the chances of reader engagement. Knowing the teen’s areas of interest is always a good place to start. Choose a book with a topic the teen cares about and will more likely choose to read.

Also, it will help to have an idea of what kind of genre may appeal to a particular teen. Is it fiction? Not always. In fact, many reluctant or challenged readers of any age have little or no interest in fictional stories. This is a signal that non-fiction selections may be a good place to start, especially with teen boys. Consider sharing an issue of Popular Mechanics or a book about hunting and fishing. For girls, think about introducing the biography of a famous woman or a “how-to” book about a favorite topic.

As promised and to help you find just the right book for a teen you know with reading challenges, we have gathered links for our second book list here. This one is specifically for older teens. We hope you will find it helpful in “lighting a spark” for reading in a teen you know.

Happy Reading---AND Happy Holidays, dear readers!

Next week’s article & book list: BEST Books for Young Children Who Are Challenged Readers

BEST Books for Older Teens with Reading Challenges

2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers (for ages 12-18)

2013 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Books Should Be Free---FREE Public Domain Audio Books & e-Books

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of: Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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