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Summer Reading: 10 Reasons Why Adolescents And Teens Should Dig In

Updated on May 5, 2017
Dig into Summer Reading For Adolescent And Teens
Dig into Summer Reading For Adolescent And Teens | Source

Summer Reading For Middle And High School Students

The long Summer break most traditional schools experience can cause the average student's learning to regress by one month and is referred to as "Summer slide." This can spell trouble for the students who have left the apron strings of elementary school where the focus was on learning to read. Now the game has changed and it means reading to learn instead. The best solution? A Hot Summer Reading List that will keep them wanting to read all Summer.

Educators of younger students are all aware of how important self-selected reading is. Self explanatory, this method of reading entails the child selecting a book himself, one that appeals to him to enjoy in a comfortable setting. Why should we change this for the older student? While there will probably be required reading assignments for the Summer, the teen and adolescent should make the time to select a few books that they really feel will be enjoyable to them.

It is estimated that even as few as 6 books will keep "Summer slide" at bay and more. Following are 10 good reasons for Summer reading for adolescents and teens along with 6 great books that will keep them engaged.

Improving Vocabulary

Summer reading fun can improve vocabulary. In middle and high school, vocabulary words aren't sight words any more. They are those hard" words that show up in the content areas-general science, history, economics, etc.Reading for pleasure provides practice in making connections between familiar and unfamiliar words by using word structure (roots, affixes) and context clues. Studies show that the amount of reading time influences the size of both the reading and speaking vocabulary.

Improving Fluency

Summer reading fun can improve reading rate, or fluency. Increasing and adjusting reading rate according to purpose helps the student increase reading comprehension in the content areas. Beginning with middle school content reading takes a giant leap in readability level. The middle school curriculum becomes more rigorous and demanding. Secondary students may need to increase reading speed to complete assignments on time.

Improving Decoding Skills

Summer reading for fun is a good way for the budding middle school student to reinforce the decoding skills they learned throughout elementary school. Once an adolescent is out of grade 4, decoding instruction will likely be reserved for remedial reading classes. The middle school student will be required to read more supplementary materials for learning in the content areas. The vocabulary in these (expository) reading materials will be more difficult to decode than those in narratives.

Reading To Keep The Mental Process Active

Summer reading for fun keeps the mental process active. Scientist believe that attention, memory and thought rely on the brain's active neuron patterns. The firing of one memory network causes other memory networks to fire. Impulses travel through neurons and jump from dendrite to dendrite via the synapses in a sort of dominoes fashion. The reader can make connections between events in the story to events in her own life. Activation of related networks in the brain will strengthen the synaptic connections of neurons. It's sort of the brain's way of getting exercise. Additionally, a good riveting tale can stir the emotions which will also help connect memory networks.

Improving Concentration And Focus

Summer reading for fun can improve concentration and focus. A well written story of high interest is a good attention grabber. The reader will be focused on the outcome of the story, paying attention to the details that contribute to the plot. The ability to concentrate and focus will essentially help in all subject areas.

Reading For Interests

Summer reading for fun is a good way to increase interests and hobbies. As students move through middle and high school career choices become issues. The purpose of school begins to be seen in the context of preparing for the work force. For example, a story about a sick or wounded animal could spark an interest in veterinary medicine. Or a story about a social issue could encourage volunteering for a cause.

Reduce Summer Boredom

Summer reading fun can help reduce boredom. The bored adolescent or teen can get into trouble more easily. Boredom on long hot days can set in, especially toward mid summer when interest in the beach, pool or lake begins to fizzle. A good story can be entertaining. Unlike TV shows or movies, the written story will be more mentally engaging. It will be like a "movie in the mind" and can stimulate creativity.

Reading To Improve Testing

Summer reading fun can help test scores. Like it or not, high stakes testing is a fact and is probably not going to go away. Not all high stakes testing is used to determine school funding. Students everywhere must pass end of course tests, high school competency tests and attain certain scores on the SAT or ACT to get into higher institutes of study.

Learning About Other Cultures And Places

Summer reading for fun can create an awareness of other cultures and places. With the internet and travel life has become more global. Chances are the adolescent or teen will travel to other parts of the world. They can "travel in an armchair" and learn about their destinations through descriptive literature. They can "time travel" and read about other times in history and learn how the culture was different.

Solving Personal Problems

Reading for Summer fun can help teens with life's problems. The adolescent and teen years can be bewildering times. New freedom gives rise to new issues. Or sometimes they feel they don't have the freedom they should have for their age. Peer pressure, bullying, feeling left out of groups, problems getting along with parents and siblings and new attractions to the opposite sex are all issues that many authors write honestly on. Reading about the problems that characters face can be like receiving advice.

If you are an adolescent, teen or the parent of one please pick out at least 6 good books that you really think would be fun Summer reading. Don't forget that required Summer reading list. But do have fun reading! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Perfect You
Perfect You

Dad has lost his job and life has gone down hill.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen.

Keeping the Moon
Keeping the Moon

Fifteen year old Colie spends the summer with her eccentric aunt. Her aunt's tenant Norman, and her friends at the Last Chance Diner teaches her some important lessons about friendship and learning to love yourself.

FreeK Camp (FreeKs series #1)
FreeK Camp (FreeKs series #1)

Two vans are on their way to a camp in rural Maine, the teen passengers just starting to get acquainted. One van makes it. The other mysteriously disappears. Now each group of kids must bond together to discover and use their paranormal and psychic powers.

Anya's Ghost
Anya's Ghost

The story of a Russian girl in America who has a hard time making friends. She falls in a well, finds a human skeleton and meets the ghost of Emily. Will she be friend or foe?

Friends with Boys
Friends with Boys

Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own.

Shipwreck (Island, Book 1)
Shipwreck (Island, Book 1)

They did'nt want to be on the boat in the first place. They didn't want to be stuck at sea with a bunch of strangers. But when you're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there's no easy way out.


Choosing A Book

Which One Of These Books Would You Choose First?

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    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

      Great hub. I wish someone had encouraged me to read as a teen. I had no reading problems but I just had no interest and look at all those years wasted to me with the world of books all around me! Thankfully I ran a bookstore though and made up for lost time!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Reading was one of my summer favorites as a teen. Now my grandkids love doing this as well. It is a great alterative to all those video games! Voted up!!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Yeah! Good for the grandkids! I hope they have a great Summer and enjoy reading!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      As a youngster I loved reading, I joined World book club, and that kept me very busy, However today's teens seem to be more into celeb mags. and games. However You have some great ideas here, I hope the mums make use of it.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks tobusiness. I'll bet all your early reading helped you become a top notch author

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 4 years ago from Tennesee

      Fantastic Hub and so true. I voted for Shipwreck as the plot sounds deliciously mysterious!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for stopping by and voting. I know, The synopsis of all these books make me want to read them as well!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Freekcamp was my choice!

      I am very proud oof my dil for many reasons :) the latest is she started 'summer school' for our granddtr/just out of kindergarten and the reason? my dtr in law said to 'keep her sharp' way to go dil!!

      great hub rebecca!!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Glad to hear that RNMSN! She will be off to a good start in like now. Those early years really set the stage.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Summer and reading go hand in hand. It's always a task to motivate teenagers to read, especially those who would rather be playing in the sun. You raise an important point and one I'm privy too--reading increases vocabulary and they really come in handy in SAT. My son learned that the hard way--he had to memorize hundreds of words to get ready. If only he had read all along--hehe. Rated up and shared.

    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      All this is definitely true. I have been a heavy reader pretty much ever since I learned how to read. I have always read the classics and enjoyed them. Still, I found my summer reading list to be a miserable thing. I don't know why. I just hated it. I didn't like most of the selections and I normally blew the whole thing off. I wish they would have let me choose books I wanted to read and there are plenty of classics I actually like... I just seemed to get stuck with books I wasn't keen on.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      This is such an insightful article. It would be so amazing if kids would read more during those lazy hazy days of summer. It would certainly be helpful for them when they go back to school. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks Rose. Le's hope some of them do some summer reading!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      I began reading when I was an eighth grader. My hunger for reading is growing wild as I grow older. By reading I don't just mean web articles or newspapers and magazines.

      Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Encouraging kids to read is so very important. I was a regular book worm from a young age and it has not abated.

      Going to add a link from this hub to mine titled Kids Magazine Subscriptions ~ Great Gift Ideas.

      Up and useful votes!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Very informative and useful article. You list so many good reasons for our young people to read more and it is presented in a very accessible and pleasing format.

      Excellent hub; carrying an important message.


    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wow, thank you so much Anna, for paying attention to my little hub about summer reading for teens. So many of our teens ignore reading in favor for other activities I am afraid.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      You are so right, Rebecca.

      On the crazy hazy lazy days of summer what could be better than to curl up with a good book. having a friend read the same book at the same time you are makes it so much fun as then it can be discussed. When I was still teaching I gave out summer reading lists which included so many fun and interesting stories. I loved it in the fall when former middle schoolers came by (It aught middle school for about 13 years) and told me with excitement of the wonderful books they had read.

      thanks for sharing this....Angels are on the way...

      (Our public library system has summer reading programs for all levels including adult...this summer the elementary one is entitled: Dig Into Reading. ) ps Voted up+++++ and shared

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting reasons to keep reading during the summer break. Reading books that one likes will keep the interest going as well as benefit the student.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Sad that the art of reading is lost these days, and I so connect with this. Thanks for sharing!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      You've convinced me that summer reading is a student's best friend! When I was in my teens, I lost myself in reading. I often stayed up into the wee hours of the morning just to finish a classic novel. I have to say that reading got me through the rough times and taught me many lifelong lessons. Here's to reading! Voted up and shared.

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 3 years ago from Utah

      I used to spend my entire summers reading before I got old enough to work. Even now few things are more enjoyable than spending hours getting lost in a good book!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good for you, thanks!

    • teflindo profile image

      Wayne Duplessis 3 years ago from Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

      Thank you for this

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 2 years ago from Western NC

      Summer slide is a real thing. Awesome hub and thanks for calling attention to this. :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for stopping by Cyndi. Happy reading.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 2 years ago from Virginia

      Great tips here Rebecca, I've been working on writing for the "middle grade" so I could relate! Voted up and awesome and shared!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks, weestro!

    • profile image

      Steve Burt 2 years ago

      Rebecca, thanks for mentioning FreeK Camp. It is now an audio book and a kindle, too. Also, the sequels are out: FreeK Show and FreeK Week.

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