Reading Engagement for Tweens and Teens

What Would Make Them Read More?

by Margaret K. Merga


Not all young people prefer to read on screens, and boys do like fiction.

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Cover image for Reading Engagement for Tweens and Teens

December 2018

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 174
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Children's and Young Adult Programs/Reading Promotion and Literacy
  Librarian's Instructional Role/Curriculum and Instruction, K-12

Identifies evidence-backed and easy-to-implement strategies for encouraging young people to read, and helps you to position your library as an indispensable resource for supporting reading.

While most reading research focuses on young children, this book looks at how to support reading beyond the early years and into adulthood. Reporting on strong, peer-reviewed research supported by sound theoretical and methodological approaches, it emphasizes the practical implications of these findings, sharing what this means for you in terms of how you can be a powerful positive reading model and influence in young people's lives.

Enriched with the voices of today's young people, the book includes quotes that allow readers to decide how to support reading engagement for tweens and teens based on what would make them read more, as expressed in their own words. Engaging and readable, it will be of interest to school and public librarians and can be shared with teachers, parents, and other literacy instructors and advocates.


  • Considers strategies for countering the biggest barriers to reading as identified by young people
  • Explains how to most effectively implement common strategies to support reading engagement at your school, such as implementing sustained silent reading, having conversations about books, and reading aloud to older children
  • Offers strategies for promoting awareness of the ongoing value of reading and for teaching parents and teachers to encourage reading beyond the point of independent reading skill acquisition
  • Moves away from generalizations that reinforce gender stereotypes and stereotypes about tweens and teens related to their technology use and skills
  • Highlights the importance of access to books and provides evidence for the role of libraries as reading-supportive spaces
Author Info

Margaret K. Merga, PhD, is a senior lecturer at Edith Cowan University, in Western Australia. She is author of more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles on literacy and reading engagement. She has conducted six substantial research projects that explore social influences on reading engagement from the early years to adulthood.

Table of Contents


  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Why is Book Reading (Still) Important? Chapter 2: From Learning to Read to Reading to Learn: Why Does Reading for Pleasure Fall by the Wayside? Chapter 3: Are Books Really Uncool? Chapter 4: Myths about Boys, and Why They Get Oxygen Chapter 5: Powerful Parents Chapter 6: The Myth of the eBook Loving Digital Natives Chapter 7: What Would Make Young People Read More Books? Chapter 8: Reading is For Pleasure, Not Just Testing Chapter 9: Libraries, Reading Spaces, and Choices Chapter 10: Final Thoughts
  • Appendix I: Research Projects References Index



    "A solid, evidence-based look at why reading engagement is crucial and how teens and tweens can become lifelong readers."School Library Journal

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