I’ve been talking on the radio all morning long about my new young adult novel, Paraworld Zero… literally. 18 radio interviews, back-to-back. Just about all of the interviewers had one question in common, so I’ll address that topic, which is… drum roll, please. Now that Harry Potter is over (and even that is questionable) how do we get young adults to keep reading?
Being a father of five boys–all of whom enjoy fighting with light sabers on a daily basis–I have my work cut out for me. After watching my book’s video trailer on my website (http://www.paraworlds.com/) a dozen times yesterday, my oldest son said he couldn’t wait for me to put the rest of my book into a movie, so that he wouldn’t have to read it. He’s only eight-years old, so it’s understandable that he’s not into reading just quite yet, but his comment made me realize that I’m going to have to work harder at helping him to enjoy reading.
The first step is to understand your child’s interests. I have boys who can’t get enough fantasy and science fiction in their lives. They breath it in like air. So I naturally need to pick some shorter books that they might enjoy. At that young age the cover matters a lot to them. One thing I can do is to read to them. The time reading with a parent will be priceless and they will equate reading as a good thing, because that’s a time “I get to spend with daddy or mommy.”
When they become teenagers, I’ll need to monitor what they read more closely and keep reinforcing good books. That means I’ll need to read reviews, skim through the young adult section of the library or bookstore, and talk to other parents about what their teenagers like to read. Books like Harry Potter will come and go, but the love for reading is something I want to instill in my boys so that they’re always waiting for that next book to read. And who knows? Perhaps it’ll be my next book they’ll be waiting for.
Here’s a link to the Paraworld Zero book trailer.