Teen Read Week Tells Kids to "Get Real!"

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Between October 16 and 22, libraries, schools, and bookstores across America will celebrate Teen Read Week, which is now in its eighth year. A national literacy initiative aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers, and other concerned adults, Teen Read Week was developed by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to focus on the importance of teen recreational reading. Its objectives are to give teens an opportunity to read for the fun of it, to allow them to select their own reading materials, and to help them get in the habit of reading regularly and often.

This year's theme, "Get Real! @ your library," was chosen by teens and focuses on their love of nonfiction -- from inspirational autobiographies to true crime." Teens are being encouraged to visit one of the thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country participating in the celebration to check out great books, CDs, DVDs, or to log on to book resources on the Internet.

While nearly three out of four young people ages eight to 18 years old report that they read for pleasure in a typical day, the number is declining. According to ALA, the National Center for Education Statistics found the number of 17-year-olds who report never or hardly ever reading for fun rose from nine percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.

Recommended reading, listening, and viewing for teens can be found on YALSA's website at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.

For more information on Teen Read Week, visit www.ala.org/teenread.