Last week we talked about reading aloud to kids who can read on their own,  but today we’re taking that a step further and talking about reading aloud with teens. 

You know the most important thing about reading aloud with teens, right? Surprise! It’s not their literary value or whether your teen knows how to analyze a story. It’s better than that.

(Much better).

Reading with teens can be pure magic. It’s such a simple way to slow down and enjoy one another’s company. And it’s really important to enjoy our teens’ company!

Read more about this and the importance of treating your teen’s reading life more like a book club (and less like a school assignment) in The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids Through Books.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • what’s so magical about reading aloud with teens?
  • why you can think of what you read with teens as adding concentric circles (in other words, we’re not moving up, we’re moving out)
  • a few book recommendations to read with your teens, even if you haven’t been reading aloud to him or her lately

Click the play button below:

Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

  • 2:34 Reading aloud with teens = magic
  • 4:39 What to know about reading with teens
  • 6:20 Assignments vs. book clubs
  • 8:28 Why continue to read picture books?
  • 9:29 Book recommendations for teens
  • 12:53 Read-alouds vs. read-alones
  • 13:48 3 book ideas
  • 18:53 Let the kids speak

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Links from this episode:

Quotes to remember:

“Reading is still primarily about connection when we’re reading with our teens. The number one benefit from reading aloud is connection. Never forget that.

Conversations with our teens actually matter more than the reading. If you can only read aloud half as many books with your teenager in order to make room to talk- that’s a good trade. The conversations matter a whole lot.”

“We tend to do things for our kids that will help them become better humans, help them become better, functioning adults… but our kids don’t want to be our projects. If they feel like we’re reading to them or sharing books with them because we’re trying to improve them, they will resist. If, however, they feel that reading is something we do for pleasure and because it’s a part of our family culture, that’s different.”

(Download the transcript above for more quotes and pull-outs.)

Books from this episode:

(All links are Amazon affiliate links.)

Episode 97
The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Frodo and his pals set out on a journey to find the Ruling Ring. Will the Hobbits’ friendships be enough to keep them safe?

More info →
Buy from Bookshop
Buy from Amazon
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency.

More info →
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The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who survived Hitler's concentration camps and became a heroine of the Resistance. A touching story worthy of many re-reads, I recommend this one for high schoolers and up.

More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Echo

Echo

This one is best on audio, and oh, what an exquisite audio book it is! The story is told in three parts—Friedrich, a Germany boy on the wrong side of the Nazi Party during World War II; Mike and Frankie, who dream of living with a real family of their own; Ivy, an immigrant in California during the 1940s. The stories are woven together in a truly magnificent masterpiece. I've read it twice, and both times were equally moving. Highly recommended.

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Fever 1793

Fever 1793

It's summer during the late eighteenth century in Philadelphia, and Mattie Cook is caught in the middle of a plague that sweeps the city and destroys everything in its path. When her mother becomes gravely ill, Mattie and her grandfather discover the yellow fever cannot be outrun. Based on the true events of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, this one is a page-turner.

More info →
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Get the rest of Sarah’s recommendations for reading aloud with teens here:

read-aloud family