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Category: Ask an expert

Technology & reading: Boom or bust?

Dear Keenreaders: I know most parents and teachers wouldn’t agree with this, but I actually think technology is making kids more likely to read — just not long books. Your thoughts on whether the time spent on computers and texting is good or bad for reading? —Technophile Dear Technophile: That’s a really good question and [...]

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Video games

Dear Keenreaders: Most of the parents I know seem to vilify video games, but they still let their teens play those games for hours on end. Do you think maybe there’s some real value in video games after all? —Questioning Parent Dear Questioning: I do think there’s some value to them.  They certainly tickle the [...]

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If I’m not a reader, will it hurt my child?

Dear Keenreaders: I can’t share the “love of reading” with my children because I’ve never been much of a reader myself. Do you think I am short-changing my children? – Non-reading parent Dear non-reader: Actually, yes, I do think you’re short changing them. I don’t know how old your kids are, but at almost any [...]

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Helping an ADD Teen to Read

Dear Keenreaders: My 11-year-old son suffers from ADD. He has trouble concentrating on anything either I or his teacher give him to read. What can I do to hold his attention on reading? – Seattle parent Dear Seattle: I’d look for high interest short stories, short non-fiction like Guys Read which contains one-two and three-page [...]

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Does Realistic Protrayal of High School Concern You?

Dear Keenreaders: Mr. Crutcher — your books portray extremely real high school situations in very direct terms. How do you ensure that the young people who read your books identify with the situations but don’t try to emulate them. Is this something that concerns you when you write? – Curious and Concerned Dear Curious and [...]

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Above the Crowd

Dear Keen Readers My 9-year-old says she wants to be a writer when she grows up. She loves reading, and her reading level is well above others in her age group.  How can we help her find books that will encourage her—so far, she’s mostly been working her way through books that her older sister [...]

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Talk to the teeth

Dear Keen Readers Our 12-year-old son used to be an avid reader, but we think some of his friends have been teasing him and now the reading has dropped off. To make it worse, he wears glasses, so the teasing is non-stop. What can we do to encourage him to ignore the other kids and [...]

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Language Barrier

Dear Keen Readers, One of my neighbors is very outspoken about what he calls the “adult themes and language” in books for teenagers. I haven’t read any of these books, but if he’s right, do I need to be more careful about what I allow my 14-year-old daughter to read? I don’t want her to [...]

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When to lay down the law

Dear Keen Readers, To be honest, our son is not off to a good year at school—he’s falling behind in his work, and not doing well in subjects (such as math) where he usually excels. He’s actually a pretty good reader, although most of his time is spent with “choose your own adventure” books and [...]

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Make ‘em laugh

Dear Keen Readers, Ever since our divorce a year ago, our son has escaped into a world of video games and virtually never picks up a book anymore. Not that he read that much before, to be honest, but now he’s almost completely withdrawn. Is there some book that I can use to help get [...]

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