This is hard for me to admit as a StorySnoop, but here goes.
My name is Shannon, I’m a book reviewer and reading enthusiast, and a mother to three children. One of whom – gasp – no longer likes to read.
I’m not sure how it happened but here is my story:
My oldest son (now 16) was a fantastic reader. He read everything he could. He brought Newbery books home from the library. He read Harry Potter in grade school and Lord of the Rings in middle school. But, then came high school.
As soon as he hit high school, the reading came to halt. Sure, he read the assigned books for his English class, but he did no recreational reading of his own. He was supposed to read every night, and track the books and the page numbers every night, but I am pretty sure he “manipulated” that data.
I tried everything, but you know, the more YOU want a teen to do something, the less THEY want to do it. The only success I had was with John Green books. He loved those, and I felt good about it because Mr. Green’s books are great and have won just about every award there is.
Fast forward to now. Last night, he asked me to sign his reading log, which tracks what he chooses to read on his own – 30-50 pages per night mandatory. Intrigued (and, dare I say, hopeful) I peered at the reading log, pen in hand and deciphered his messy chicken scrawl. There, in the log, he had written:
36 pages of the book named “Sh*t My Dad Says”
He replied, “I read all the John Green books already.”
I didn’t sign the reading log, and we searched the house for a book that wasn’t “stupid” or “lame”.
Moms and teachers of teens: are you familiar with this phenomenon? What happens to our avid boy readers when they become teens? Where do they go and will they ever come back? In the meantime, what do they read that isn’t stupid or lame, when they have blown through all of the John Green books…..