How do you get kids and teens interested in reading Christian books?

Comments (2)

I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for getting young people interested in reading Christian books.  I loved reading when I was younger and was always in the library, but it seems like the kids in my church aren't interested.  It's not that they don't read, I know some of them do, but they don't seem interested in Christian books.  I've added newer teen fiction, but I'm hesitant to buy very much when I don't have any feedback about whether they're any good or not.  I've tried asking some kids specifically to read a book and let me know if they like it, but it hasn't worked.

Posted in:
  • Church Libraries
  • Q&A

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

 Lauren:

The fantasy books about dragons seem to be a great way to get kids started, since it is such a popular topic in mainstream kids literature. My kids really enjoyed the Dragonspell series. And they would share their enthusiasm with peers.

Also, kids/preteens go for presentation and need to feel welcome. If your church has a room specifically designated for the library, try to incorporate colour, and posters, or anything of eye-catching interest to your potential "clients". This is challenging if your library consists of fold-open cupboards in a corner of a larger room, but try to use your imagination to make the space inviting. Often book warehouses have posters available featuring topics or books that are inexpensive and attractive. Office stores also supply teachers resourses that are colourful, seasonal, or simply interesting.

You can feature one new book a month in your bulliten, or on a bulliten board.  A board could also feature library news, reviews, a list of new additions, etc.

If you are willing and able to put the extra time in, perhaps you could have a reading club that kids can join, and receive a small prize or recognition on the bulliten board. You could also have a "Featured Reporter of the Month" who could make his/her recommmendation based on a book he/she read. Take some pointers from gradeschools that need to get creative to inspire children to accomplish a certain level of books read by the end of the year! They know first hand how difficult it can be.

Teens who read are typically those that read as children, so it is harder to capture the interest of those that haven't shown an interest before. Anything that looks attractive, contemporary, eg. "chicklits" for girls, or mirrors that of the interests in mainstream style can appeal to teens. Try a few subscriptions to christian teen magazines. And if you can get any of the teens to volunteer in the library, that may initiate further interest. It is also beneficial to have the teens showing the young children what the library has to offer.

 Happy Reading!

Caroline

Caroline has some good comments. 

Another suggestion is talk to the youth group to let them know what you have. 

Drop in Sunday school and let the kids know what you have and what is new. 

Get some of the books and approach some kids to read them to "help you" and get some feedback. 

Make suggestions to parents to take a book and try it out. 

Have you read any of the books that you have picked. I read a bunch one year ago for a workshop I did for the Church Library Association of Ontario. I can send the spread sheet to anyone who is interested. I don't have it updated but it is currrent as of fall 2009. 

Start small with some solid series. 

As mentioned fantasy book series do draw kids in. C S. Lewis and tolkien are obvious. The Donita Paul series is good as Caroline mentioned. 

Spend an afternoon browsing the online Christian book sites. 

The ones I purchase from the most is 

Livingbooks.ca in Canada

"Bookdepot"   "Bookcloseouts"  online ships Canada and US - has a retail and wholesale website. Good deals on books that are a bit older and are remainders. 

Christianbooks.com

It is is just a try, try, try again venture. 

The books don't go out of style quickly so they have long self life. 

Be encouraged! It is possible to engage kids. Not all but some. 

Jo Vandermey

Providence CRC

Beamsville, Ontario

© 2014 Christian Reformed Church in North America. All rights reserved.
For website questions or corrections, use the feedback tab at right or contact us.