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Bar-sur-Loup Provence France

Teens and reading genre fiction

Recently within my circle of contacts a couple threads have popped up on the question of getting kids to read more. This is sort of a classic question, posed by authors and academics as if it was some sort of cry in the wilderness (Potter-san notwithstanding). Richard Dansky had a particularly interesting question on developing a list of genre recommendations based on what kind of games kids like to play.
That one really intrigues me, as it is a very pragmatic approach to getting kids interested in books. It seems better than asking the local English teacher who would probably reply: "You like First Person Shooters? You should read Cooper's Leatherstocking series. You like fantasy games? Gosh, there are a lot of fantastic elements in Love in the Time of Cholera."
Richard started with a few, and more have been added, and hopefully we'll end up with a lot of good ideas.
The other interesting thread was started by Cat Rambo here, and a lot of good comments were added by readers.
This is important to culture in general, I think, and will continue to be so until that improbable day in the future when game writers are nominated for Pulitzers, Nobels, and Bookers. As the game media takes over more and more of mass culture, and as generations grow up using that as their first window into art and writing, the question can only gain in pertinence.

Comments

VERY interesting, because my son (now 9) read only fact and science and nature stuff for years -- with the exception of magazines about the World Cup.

It is only in the last two months that he has started reading avidly and it is all genre stuff. Interestingly enough the book that got him going was the Spiderwick Chronicles (though it might have helped that I read The Hobbit aloud to him and his sister).
Bar-sur-Loup Provence France

December 2011

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