We Need to Talk About… promoting books to teens #Discussion

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We Need to Talk About…is my new discussion post where I ask the blogosphere (that’s you guys) for opinions/advice/rants on anything from ‘how do some bloggers read so many books?’ to ‘how do you rate books?’. 

This week I want your thoughts on teen magazines and why they don’t seem to have book review sections…

A few weeks ago I was in my local large newsagents and decided to have a look through the teen magazines to see if any of them featured book reviews, and I didn’t find one. I was completely shocked! Sure, some of them promote good body image and safe sex practices which is good, but not one of them promoted reading. Considering how huge the YA market is, that really confuses me.

Many of you will know by now that I work in a prison library. Part of my job is to promote reading to reluctant readers and I get to see first-hand the undeniably strong links between crime and illiteracy. So many of the guys in prison that can read, read only non-fiction and when I ask them why they don’t like fiction, the general consensus is because ‘it’s not real’, ‘too unbelievable’ and they ‘can’t follow it’. I wonder why they’ve never enjoyed a good fiction book and why they can’t see what a great escape (pun intended) from prison life it could be. 

There seems to be a lot of focus on reading to babies and children which is vital too, but where do teens get their love of reading from if it hasn’t already been passed on? I’m not knocking schools at all, but I never wanted to read anything the school set me, and reading definitely wasn’t seen as cool. I went through a good few years of not reading because I thought my friends would think I was sad or a geek or whatever. 

One thing sticks in my mind though. I remember that one of the popular girl magazines that me and my friends read religiously often had a free book attached. I still have my copy of Secret Vampire by L.J Smith from that. And that one little freebie made reading cool again. 

Looking at today’s teen (11+) magazines, it saddens me that they don’t seem to promote all the amazing things going on in the YA book industry. 

Is it simply because the internet has taken over and is a better place to promote reading and bring fangirls (and boys!) together? Or are magazines missing a trick here? Maybe they think reading isn’t cool but endless make-up ads are. It’s sad if that’s all that sells. 

What do you think? Should books be featured in teen magazines more? Or do you think they are and I’ve just not seen the right ones? Do any of you write YA reviews for magazines?

Favourites Friday #5: Silly Verse For Kids

Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads

Just a quick one today guys as it’s Semi-finals day @ Wimbledon and I am glued to it!!! (Mon the Murray).

Spike Milligan is a hero of mine and this book is the best collection of his ‘nonsense’ poems for young kids. When I look back on my early childhood, this book is what I remember. I remember my mum and dad reading it to me and being in hysterics. I still remember all of the words to my favourites ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’ and ‘The Land of the Bumbley Boo’.

Every child who is read to is lucky, but I doubt that every child is as lucky to be read things as fun as this. It is something I will never forget!

In The Land Of The Bumbley Boo

In the land of the Bumbley Boo
The People are red white and blue,
They never blow noses
Or ever wear closes,
What a sensible thing to do!

In the land of the Bumbley Boo
You can buy Lemon pie at the zoo;
They give away foxes
In little Pink Boxes
And Bottles of Dandylion Stew.

In the land of the Bumbley Boo
You never see a Gnu,
But thousands of cats
Wearing trousers and hats
Made of Pumpkins and Pelican Glue!

Chorus
Oh, the Bumbley Boo! the Bumbley Boo!
That’s the place for me and you!
So hurry! Let’s run!
The train leaves at one!
For the land of the Bumbley Boo!
The wonderful Bumbley Boo-Boo-Boo!
The Wonderful Bumbley BOO!!!

© Spike Milligan. All rights reserved

Buy this for your kids!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!