Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Connecting with Reluctant Teen Readers. Tips, Titles and Tools

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Connecting with Reluctant Teen Readers. Tips, Titles and Tools

Article excerpt

Jones, Patrick, Maureen L. Hartman and Patricia Taylor. Connecting With Reluctant Teen Readers. Tips, Titles and Tools. New York: Neal Schuman, 2006. 314p. $59.95 USD. ISBN 1-55570-571-5.∞

This is a comprehensive handbook written by experienced librarians who have specialized in the reading needs of Young Adult readers. Their book, subtitled Tips, Titles and Tools contains a wealth of knowledge in the form of strategies, explanations and commentaries, many of which come from personal interviews.

Connecting with Reluctant Teen Readers functions as a reference handbook that can be dipped into when needed and mined for suggestions to apply to individual situations. Beginning with an analysis of the reasons behind reading disinterest in teens and the term "reluctant readers," the book continues by offering suggestions for many situations and book lists as possible solutions. Throughout the text, however, the authors persistently link reading disenchantment with providing the right book for the right reader and not with issues relating to illiteracy.

Strategies to engage reader interest in the "right" book are interspersed throughout the first section, Tips, along with boxes of dialogue containing snippets of interviews with many well-known librarians and authors readers'. Their testimony lends credence and interest to this otherwise theoretical section.

The second part of the book, Titles that Work, is comprised of book lists. As a bibliophile, I always enjoy reading book lists, and noticed that the 57 titles "that can turn a reader around" contain a wide mixture of graphic novels and different fiction genres including some science fiction and fantasy. Thereafter book titles are listed under Fiction and Nonfiction categories, and, while it should be noted that most of the titles on the lists were written by American authors, they are not all exclusively so; it was a pleasure to see Margaret Atwood and the Manitoba author, Carol Matas, mentioned on a list, as well as a few British authors.

One subcategory in this section, which is surprisingly slim at nine pages, is the section under Graphic Novels; although it is very useful to have these titles subdivided into subject headings. …

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