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Teen Read Week: Read for the fun of it

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Teen Read Week Thursday: Seek the Unknown-Read for the Fun of it

(This article was printed in the October 16, 2103 issue of the Casper Journal.)

I have loved reading my whole life.  The busier life gets, the taller my to-read tower grows. I am constantly discovering books I want to read with my preschooler, recommend to friends and family, read and discuss with book groups, or enjoy on my own just for fun.

Early on, I found the joy of losing myself in a great book. As a librarian to teens, I have the incredible honor of sharing that joy with other young readers!

Sometimes teens visit the library as avid readers looking for the next story to get lost in.  Other teens are simply trying to find a book (preferably short and easy) to fulfill a homework requirement.

The greatest joy of my career is seeing a teen who might never have considered himself a “reader” happily returning to my desk seeking his next reading adventure.

Teen Read Week is celebrated every October by libraries around the country.  It is an opportunity to encourage teens to “read for the fun of it.” 

We all know reading is an important skill – necessary not only for school success, but for college, professions, and lifelong learning.  Contrary to popular opinion, developing stellar reading skills does not just happen at school, nor does it have to be a chore.

Reading for fun allows teens to discover and explore their own interests, while effortlessly improving reading speed, vocabulary and comprehension as they delve into worlds unknown.

The Natrona County Public Library will be celebrating this year’s Teen Read Week theme “Seek the Unknown @ Your Library” throughout the month of October. What unknown treasures might your teenager enjoy?

Try something from Wyoming’s Soaring Eagle Book Award list or the American Library Association’s “Teen Top Ten.”  Both awards are chosen by teens, and include teen-favorite genres such as supernatural, dystopian or apocalyptic fiction as well as books with a bit of relationship drama.

I think these genres are currently popular because they speak to the teenage experience, even if they are heavily steeped in fantasy. Why not take a journey to save the world, escape unknown horrors, or face your greatest fears without ever having to leave the comfort of your favorite reading spot?

For those teens looking to meet new friends and share their love of reading, check out one of our book clubs.  The Afternoon Book Club (grades 7-8) meets Thursday, October 17 at 4 p.m. to discuss “The House of the Scorpion” by Nancy Farmer.

Teen Book Club (grades 9-12), is reading “Beastly” by Alex Flinn, for discussion Tuesday, October 29 at 7 p.m. 

The Never Too Old Book Club is for adults who enjoy Young Adult (YA) literature, but teens are welcome too. Teen and parent pairs are especially encouraged.  What better way to connect with your teenager than through a book you can both enjoy? We will discuss “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman, November 5 at 6:30 p.m. 

All three book clubs meet monthly at Metro Coffee Co. Participants receive a free drink, courtesy of the Friends of the Library. Stop by the Teen Zone desk to sign up and pick up a free copy of the book, while supplies last.

During Teen Read Week and always, your librarians are excited to help teens find great books to read for school or for fun.  Get personal recommendations by visiting the Teen Zone located on the Mezzanine of the main library in downtown Casper, or call 577-READ (7323) ext. 101.  

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