Growing Young Readers with Teen/YA Blogs

My daughter is almost 11.  When she was in 2nd grade, I’d tuck her in and we’d talk about her day.  We started a routine of talking about the good news and bad news of the day (which we still do today).  One of the recurring topics was how she hated reading and knew she’d never be good at it.   Learning to read was hard for her.

It was heartbreaking to see her cry over it, witness how insecure she felt about her skills (or lack of), and not know how to help her.  3rd grade was even worse.  We’d moved and she started out the year with the worst teacher any of our kids have ever had.  Our other kids would have been able to handle this teacher and classroom, but to our daughter, it just drove another nail in the coffin of her reading confidence.

By 4th grade, we’d moved her to a new school and things began to look up.  She discovered a few books she liked, didn’t have to take Acclerated Reader tests on them, and just got to enjoy the stories and characters she was discovering.  In 5th grade, things looked up even more.  She’s never been one to have tons of friends and is still waiting for that one special best friend to show up in her life.  She loves the Gilmore Girls and relates to Rory.  She kept reading and discovered The Mother-Daughter Book Club series.  These books turned her reading life around.  She suddenly read constantly, devoured each of the books, talked about how she related to this character, or was just like another character.  She regaled me with the antics of the different characters, and she continues to read and reread these books.  They’ve become a comfort to her–her go-to tomes whenever she’s feeling down…or just wanting to spnd time with old friends.

Fast forward to the summer before 6th grade (now).  She asked me to help her begin a reading review site for young teens (which she considers herself) and YA books (she and her brother did a kid’s cooking blog last summer and are sort of continuing it this summer, plus she sees me blog…constantly…so I think blogging for her is a natural step in her development).  I did, and she just launched  The Paperback Girls  (don’t you love the name?!).  She hopes some of her friends join her on this blog at some point, but for now she plans to write about her favorite books, put quotes she likes (like the Audrey Hepburn quote she loves and put up there), and occasionally a tv series or movie (Gilmore Girls posts are sure to come).

I’m so proud of my girl and the love of reading she’s developed over the years.  She’s come a long, long way since those tear-filled nights four years ago.  She’s love some encouragement along her journey, so I hope you’ll stop by and give her a shout out to her love of books!

You can find her  HERE at The Paperback Girls.  Go, Sophie!!



  1. How AWESOME!!!

    I have all boys and our two oldest (the only ones old enough to read) struggled find a love for reading. But once they find that book series that connects with them, or makes reading fun, or gives them that boost in confidence, it is all up hill from there!

    The school environment can be so brutal for struggling readers. Personally, I dreaded read aloud time at school counting the people ahead of me to determine which paragraph would be mine and sit and ‘practice’ my paragraph over and over until it was my turn to read.

    Now with state testing it just amplifies the anxiety. Our 10 yr old is dyslexic and it has been hard to watch the struggles of public school.

    Way to go Sophie!

  2. Way to go Sophie! This is a terrific I idea for her to get started with blogging about her favorite books. Good for you Misa for encouraging such a positive influence in her life.
    I checked her blog out and it is super fabulous!

  3. Thank you, Amber and Crystal! It’s been fun to see Sophie become a book lover. Since I’m a writer, it’s especially important to me. The blog was all her idea. I’m excited to see how she grows with it.

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