Saturday, July 9, 2011

Teen Writers Summer Blogfest: Stuff to Know About Your Teen Readers

Hey everyone! I'm still in the beautiful not-too-hot city of Calgary (Alberta, Canada). We walked around the zoo today for four hours, and then we went to the opening ceremony for my brother's soccer tournament (which is the reason we're in Calgary). There is lots of cowboy hats everywhere, because of the stampede. Anyway, apparently in my last post I worded a sentence oddly and accidentally called everyone in my family junk food.

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So today is the last day of the awesometastic Teen Writers blogfest hosted by Brittany who had the awesome idea in the first place. It's been super cool, and I've uh... met (?? well, I haven't met them but I've found lots of new blogs) lots of cool new bloggers. I also have quite a few more followers, so hi, followers! Say hi! I love comments and e-mails from people, so feel free to do that.

WELL. Today's day is Ask-the-Teens day, where YA writers, authors and bloggers ask us teens things about what we really think about reading. And I have to say, the questions the question-askers came up with are, well, really REALLY good questions. I can tell because as I was reading them the first time, I was already thinking up long, in-depth lengthy answers. :) Oh, and I've also tried to get some answers out of my brother for some of the questions, to get another teen's opinion.

From Jess:

1. Middle grade novels are defined as books for the 8-12 age range. Do teens still read middle grade fiction as they get older (for example, Harry Potter is an example of middle grade that's read by teens and adults) or are they naturally attracted to books with older themes and characters? Is it uncool to still read middle grade as you enter your teens?


I love YA, but I absolutely adore middle grade. For me, there is just something refreshing and fun about middle-grade. I also find the characters more interesting sometimes, more fun or quirky. And a quote from my brother: "Uh, I don't really pay attention to age." The thing is, every teen is different. There may be some teens out there that only read YA, but for me, I love reading a variety of different books about characters of a variety of different ages.
2. This is arguable, but it's been said that the teen years see a decrease in boy readership. Can you mention some books that you know male teenagers seem to be attracted to? Obviously, this depends on the reader, but are there books/themes that male teens connect to more than others?

I am a girl, so I personally can't answer this question but I can tell you some things about my brother (15 years old) and I also asked some of my guy friends on Facebook about their reading habits. ;) So, the summary:

My brother doesn't read often, but that is only because he doesn't pick out books for himself. When he gets a book handed to him, he will be enraptured with it until he finishes it. I think he would read more if he learned to pick out books on his own. (You can read more about my brother's reading habits here.) Anyway, my brother loves the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (actually, so do I) and he also quite enjoyed the popular Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

My brother's best friend (also 15), says he doesn't read that often but he enjoys the Alex Rider series (I have never read these, but I've heard they're good!!) and The Hunger Games.

Another friend of mine says he is currently reading quite a bit (mostly to reread Harry Potter before it comes out), but he does try to read a book a week in the summer (especially if the book is part of a series). His favourite series: the Inheritance Cycle, Pendragon Adventures, The Nine Princes in Amber, Terra Incognita series and the Keys to the Kingdom series (I have never read any of these except for the Inheritance books).

So... apparently series are popular with guys?? Haha, because that's accurate with a three-guy survey.

Sometimes when I read books that are written for guys, I find that they are way more interesting than (certain) books written for girls.

3. So many books and book series are being turned into films for the teen audience. Are you satisfied with the movie versions that you've seen recently? Can you comment on a few, both good and bad?

The most recent films I've seen based on books are the Harry Potter movies. I have to say that they were very well done, and gave a reader of the books exactly what they might be looking for. Well, except for the sixth one. But especially with the seventh one (part one). That's kind of a boring answer though, because everyone's seen and read HP... I think some movie versions of books are done excellently, and some are done really poorly. The dilemma is being able to transfer a book onto screen while keeping the main ideas, and giving the readers what they want to see live. It's very hard, I think, to satisfy the readers. One of my cousins refuses to see any movies based on books (although I'm not sure whether that's all movies based on books, or just movies based on books she's read.) I'm not quite that extreme.

From Elizabeth:

I would like to know how you go about choosing a book to read. Is it the cover? The title? Word of mouth?

There are a lot of different ways I choose a book to read. One is blogs, o' course, if I read a review and it sounds interesting. I usually don't hear about books through word of mouth, because usually I'm the one recommending books. Though sometimes I do hear about books over and over and over (so obviously these are popular books), and then I figure I should check the book out. :)

But if I'm not going by book reviews, or recommendations...

When I'm walking through a library, I look for interesting titles first (because that's what you see when books are shelved). If the title is interesting, then I don't really take the cover into account (unless I saw the cover before the title). Then I read the blurb. If the blurb is interesting, or it has something that I can connect to (because my sister has Down Syndrome I am into books about characters with disabilities), then I'll put it in my book bag. But whether I actually read the book depends on the writing itself. I also tend to go back to books by authors I like. And I won't go back to authors I don't like. (So make your first book really good!! :D)

Sorry this post was so long, but I will blame the good questions!! :D

5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for your in-depth answers! It's so cool to get a teen's perspective :) I've loved reading all the teen posts during this blogfest, and wish you the best of luck with your writing.

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  2. That was a great idea, asking your brother and his friends what they like to read. I don't have any brothers so I just kind of went off of what I've seen boys read at school.

    I don't get recommended very many books, either. I just find out about them on the internet. Most of the people I know (my family and friends) don't read much, or at least not as much as I do. My sisters and mom all read books like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or books by Jody Picoult or Emily Giffin. These are all books that are WAY out of the genres I like to read, so we don't recommend each other anything. :)

    Thanks for participating, Gracie!

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  3. Thank you so much you guys! And thank you very much Brittany for hosting the blogfest - it was a great idea, and really fun!!

    Everyone in my family reads really different genres from each other, but sometimes there are books that me, my mom and my brother will all read - like the Hunger Games. It's kind of cool, but then we're fighting over who reads the next book in the series first. :D

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  4. Most of the guys in my family read a lot--mostly fantasy and sci-fi books. I wonder if it's hereditary, lol. But they don't read much outside of those genres...it's like guys find one thing that works for them and then stick with it. Or they'll read a series they love, like Pendragon or HP, but won't make the connection between liking those books and looking for other books they might like. :P

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  5. It's so true... hmm... maybe guys need a guide, or something, to help them figure out how to pick out books.

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Hey there! I really treasure every comment... whether it just be a hello or a deeper thought. I love hearing your thoughts! :)

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