Why should I read?

Independent reading is directly related to your success in school and on standardized tests. According to studies, students who spend fewer than 15 minutes reading independently outside of school each day score in the bottom half of students on standardized tests like FCAT and the SAT. Students who do not read independently at all tend to score in the bottom ten percent of students on standardized tests. On the other hand, students who read independently for at least 40 minutes most days tend to score in the top ten percent of students on standardized tests! You are the one who holds the keys to your success in school and on tests. There is not much a reading teacher or English teacher can do to improve your reading if you never practice!

What should I read?
You should be reading something challenging, but enjoyable! Novels, newspapers, magazine articles and nonfiction books all work as long as they are challenging. You will be given class time at least once a week to read independently, but remember that this is always your homework. The library is a great place to start when looking for a book, but here are some websites that can help you with book recommendations:

1. www.Amazon.com has a great feature that allows users to create lists. It is a great site to use to browse through categories of books and read customer reviews along with short summaries of the books. This is a great place to start if you want to see what other people your age are reading and what they think of the books! You can also type in a title of a book you have already read and find other books by the same author or see what other books people who have purchase the title purchased at the same time. Best of all, you can order inexpensive, used copies of most books for under $4!

2. The College Board is the organization that creates the SAT and AP exams. They have compiled a list of classic novels for college bound students that you can access here: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/boost-your-skills/23628.html 

3. The Young Adult Library Services Organization has multiple lists organized by topic of interest that you can access here: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/outstandingbooks/outstandingbooks.cfm

4. TheFlorida Teens Read list is created by the Florida Association for Media in Education and it includes 10-15 new novels each year that they recommend to middle and high school students. This is a great list- I have loved every book I have read that has been on the list! Check it out on the poster in the media center or on their website: http://www.floridamedia.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=62 

5. The Teen Reads site offers extensive book, author and general information for teen readers in a newsletter format. New books are reviewd. Visit the site here: http://www.teenreads.com/

6. Reading Rants is a website featuring out of the ordinary booklists for teens. It has become a popular book review source for teenagers. It is an interactive blog where teens can not only respond to reviews, but also write their own. Visit them here: http://www.readingrants.org/ 

7. Book Spot provides readers with many lists and links ot help you find a book. http://www.bookspot.com/readinglists/

Happy Reading!