Today in YA History: October 11, 1998 – First ‘Teen Read Week’!

October 11, 1998: YALSA’s first Teen Read Week is celebrated!

Since then, Teen Read Week has been held and celebrated during the third week of October each year. This year, Teen Read Week will be celebrated Oct. 16-22.

Teen Read Week is a “national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults.”

This event is designed to remind teens that, even though they have television, the internet, and their iphones constantly at their fingertips, they should take time away from that and just read, for the simple pleasure of doing so… not because you HAVE TO for a school assignment! The event also helps get teens out to school and public libraries, where reading and checking out books are free.

Each year, there is a new sub-theme for teen readers and libraries to participate in. This year’s sub-theme, Picture It, “encourages teens to read graphic novels and other illustrated materials, seek out creative books, or imagine the world through literature, just for the fun of it”. Last year’s sub-theme, Books with Beat, encouraged the reading of poetry, books about music, and listening to audiobooks!

From their site:

    Teen Read Week 2010 will be celebrated at thousands of public and school libraries, classrooms, and bookstores across the country. Although teens realize the importance of reading, they have a huge menu of activities to choose from when deciding how to spend their free time, and reading gets lost in the shuffle. Reading skills get rusty when they are not used. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that over the last 20 years there have been only modest gains in reading achievement. And although there are many active literacy campaigns, very few efforts focus on teenagers.

Jay Asher (author of 13 Reasons Why) is this year’s spokesperson! Click here to get the list of this year’s suggested reading. And then vote on your favorites!

Plan for the future of your library, neighborhood, or teen. The next few years’ dates for Teen Read Week:

October 14-20, 2012
October 13-19, 2013
October 12-18, 2014

Have a recommendation for the 2012 sub-theme? Send it to


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