That's the kind of misbehavior that can make a teacher smile, and apparently, these reading students are not as unusual as some may think.
An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer indicates that plenty of teens are reading books...and buying books:
"Kids are buying books in quantities we've never seen before," said Booklist magazine critic Michael Cart, a leading authority on young adult literature. "And publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven't seen since the 1940s."
Credit a bulging teen population, a surge of global talent and perhaps a bit of Harry Potter afterglow as the preteen Muggles of yesteryear carry an ingrained reading habit into later adolescence.
Not only are teen book sales booming -- up by a quarter between 1999 and 2005, by one industry analysis -- but the quality is soaring as well. Older teens in particular are enjoying a surge of sophisticated fare as young adult literature becomes a global phenomenon.
All of which leads Cart to declare, "We are right smack-dab in the new golden age of young adult literature."
This is definitely good news, and makes you wonder about all of the dire warnings issued by experts about the lack of teen readers. There has been a fiction that has been popularized over the years that at one time we were a nation of readers. While it is true that teens have more options that can take them away from the printed page, I do seem to recall that when I was in school, there were plenty of students who would rather do anything than read.
In the ensuing years, many of my friends who would not dream of touching a book when they were in school, developed a reading habit on their own. While we should do everything we can to encourage young people to read (and obviously, that is being done with some success), we shouldn't panic when a few young people are a bit more reluctant. We just have to keep giving them a gentle nudge.
There is reason for hope.