I adore a good trip to the library but now and then we come away from the Young Adult shelves empty handed. Does that happen to you? Don't get me wrong; I know there are plenty of YA fiction gems (a fantastic topic for a future post) but there are days when my kids scan the titles and realize that (a) they've already read many of the ones there and (b) the ones they haven't read yet just aren't quite what they're looking for at the moment.
The solution was pretty obvious but it took us a while to realize it: We started wandering the aisles and widening the search beyond the YA section. Here are just a few suggestions they discovered (and liked) on our forays into other aisles:
- All of Malcolm Gladwell's books: The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, What the Dog Saw (and it looks like he has a new one coming out in October, David and Goliath: The Triumph of the Underdog)
- The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (I know it sounds morbid but Lauren read this for a class in high school and loved it. But you still might want to preview it for your kids.)
- Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
- Looking Back: A Book of Memories by Lois Lowry
- Rocket Boys by Homer Hickham (made into the movie October Sky)
- So many! It's hard to know where to start. It's true, many students will read classics in their literature classes at school but that doesn't mean they can't crack one open for fun, too. What's your favorite?
- This post on the television character Rory Gilmore's reading list has been going around for a while and contains some great suggestions.
- The Telegraph put together a fantastic list of classics that might appeal to a confident 14-year-old reader. It could definitely work for 12-19, though, depending on the reader.
While we're on the topic of reading, The New York Times recently announced their fourth annual summer reading contest. Have you heard about it? It's a twist on the usual summer reading program and such a great idea! (Hat tip to Jennifer T. for passing this along to us.)
According to their site, each week "teenagers 13 to 19 years old are invited to choose any piece in The New York Times they like and write to tell us why it interested them. We will then choose a weekly favorite to feature." No need to subscribe; households can access ten NY Times articles a month online free of charge. "Whether you were moved by an article, bowled over by a photo, irked by an editorial, intrigued by a feature, or inspired by a how-to, tell us what got your attention and why."