World Book Day is on the first Thursday of March in the UK to avoid the official date (23rd April) clashing with school holidays. Children all over the UK joined in this year with special events held by schools and kids’ groups across the country. Most schools as the children to dress up as a book character for the day and here are some of this year’s best dressed young bibliophiles.
The National Literacy Trust has revealed that a massive 20% of teenagers leave school without the literacy levels essential for everyday life with reading standards at or below those of an 11 year old. Moreover, it’s reckoned that many teenagers struggle to read their GCSE exam papers, leading to poor results. Strong reading skills are needed to understand text books and examination questions and there is a direct link between the ability to read comprehensively, academic success and success in securing a good job on leaving school. These figures are shocking and teenagers in the UK must be encouraged to read more.
Studies have shown that teenagers who read regularly outside the classroom are already on the road to success. Reading expands the vocabulary and broadens the horizons, introducing teenagers to different ways of thinking at a time when they are thirsty for knowledge of the world around them. Reading leads to a teenager possessing a solid core of knowledge that is useful in a wide variety of subjects.
Reading is a great way for teenagers to follow their personal interests, allowing them to find out more about their hobbies and pastimes. Reading in this way develops great research skills that will serve them well in later life. However, getting teens to read can be a bit of a challenge nowadays with so many distractions available to them. Computers, video games and TV are all in competition to take up a teenager’s spare leisure hours, leaving little time left for reading books.
Nowadays, with so many books available in the ‘teenage fiction’ genre, teens have more good reads available than ever before. The Twilight Series of books has proved popular with teenage girls while Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights series is enjoyed by girls and boys alike. James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series is another set of books that appeals to both sexes and they’re bang up to date for the 21st Century with a Maximum Ride app and a set of Manga volumes that give the books added value for teens.
Research shows that teenage boys are the ones who are most likely to struggle with reading and this is where the Quick Reads books can help. Designed to appeal to adults and teenagers who find reading difficult, these short books are easy to digest and have led to many non-readers experiencing the joy of books for the first time. These books are available in libraries all over the UK and are attracting hordes of new readers on an annual basis. They’re also sold in bookshops for £1 each, which makes them accessible and affordable to everybody. The books have been written by some of today’s most popular authors and many provide an introduction to an author or a character which makes it easy for readers to progress to full length novels once they’ve caught the reading habit.