This Lil Piglet

Summer Boredom Survival Guide for Teens By: RandomHouse

This is a repost of a guest post on from Tan Light, Digital Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Random House of Canada, Ltd. In addition to being a genuine fan of YA fiction, Tan moderates the website for avid teen readers,


Summer is officially here, and soon your kids will be free from their school-year routines and obligations. For parents with younger teenagers, it can be especially difficult to keep your kids occupied – too old to enjoy summer camp, but not yet old enough for a summer job. If you and your teenager are staring into the face of a long, boring summer – we have just the thing.

Escaping into books will fill an entire summer with intrigue and adventure! Plus, a sociologist at Nevada University has recently proven what we bookworms have known all along – having books in your home makes the biggest impact on your child’s education.

Here are a few of my favourite summer reads for teens:

Word Nerd by Susin Neilsen

Published by Tundra Books

Ages 10-14

Does your family play Scrabble? If you have a “word nerd” in your family, they are going to love Susin Neilsen’s novel about a young loner named Ambrose. After being pulled out of school by his overprotective mother, Ambrose bonds with some unlikely friends at a Scrabble club. Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose soon form an unlikely alliance and, for the first time in his life, Ambrose blossoms. The characters at the Scrabble Club come to embrace Ambrose for who he is and for their shared love of words. There’s only one problem: his mom has no idea what Ambrose is up to. Word Nerd was honoured with a Red Maple Award this year, and would be an excellent choice for reluctant readers as well.

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

Published by Doubleday Canada

Ages 14+

The summer after junior year of high school looks bleak for Alton Richards. His girlfriend has dumped him to hook up with his best friend. He has no money and no job. His parents insist that he drive his rich great-uncle Lester to his bridge club four times a week and be his cardturner. What a waste of a summer! But, Alton soon finds himself intrigued by his uncle, by the game of bridge, and especially by the pretty and shy Toni Castaneda. A summer of intrigue and love unfolds in this charming novel by the author of Holes.

Kelley Armstrong’s The Darkest Powers Series

Personally, I loved this series, but more to the point, so has every teen girl I’ve met. Chloe Saunders is the perfect heroine – she’s slightly awkward, really into movies, and she sees dead people. This last fact has landed her in a bit of trouble with an organization called the Edison Group. And after discovering first-hand that other supernaturals exist, Chloe’s life is turned upside down as she finds herself on the run with a werewolf, a sorcerer, a witch, and the ghost of a good friend. And while there is a hint of romance that spans the series, it is not the main focus. Chloe doesn’t let the boys do all the hard work while she sits back and waits to be rescued. No ma’am – Chloe Saunders is one tough teen with her head on straight.

If you have an avid teen reader who would devour these books in a matter of days, I would suggest that they join – a teen reader community! With tons of suggested reading, author interviews and book blogs, is a fantastic way to keep your teen engaged with other readers all summer long.

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