Reading for Me: How to Make Time for Reading During the School Year

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Back to school, back to friends, back to homework, back to tests.  There are are a lot of different responsibilities pulling you in different directions at the start of the school year, and they all seem equally important.  There isn’t even time to read a good book.

Wait, what?!

That’s not true!  While it may seem like there is hardly time to even breath while you are getting used to new classes, new teachers, and new material, there is still hope.

In fact, making time to read can help you stay relaxed and focused.  After a long day at school, you may just want to jump right into your homework, but sometimes you need a brain break.  A quick chapter of a good book could help you get that little break you need.  Reading can also help take your mind off all the school work you have to do before you pass out.  Have you ever done your math homework right before bed and then started dreaming about the pythagorean theorem?  For your sake, I hope not!

Collections of short stories, poems, or vignettes are a perfect pick for the school year; if you don’t have a chance to get back to the book for a couple of days, you won’t have to worry about remembering where you left off.  Here are some great books to help you get into the habit of making time to read for FUN!

–Submitted by Katie R. 

Teen Mysteries: The Voice Inside my Head

Seventeen-year-old Luke's older sister, Pat, has always been there to guide him, like a voice inside his head, every time he has a problem to confront. So when Pat vanishes from a tiny island off the coast of Honduras and the police claim she drowned, Luke heads there to find her because he knows something the authorities don't. Ever since her disappearance, Pat's voice has become real, guiding him to Utila, where she'd accepted a summer internship studying whale sharks. Desperate to get to the bottom of what happened to his missing sister, Luke risks everything, including his own life, to find the truth.  

Babysitting 101: How To Make Extra Cash This Summer

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be your own boss? Do you want to take control of your own finances? Babysitting can be a very rewarding and profitable. However, there are a few things you need to know before you can start handing out your business cards. How do you change a diaper? What happens if there is an emergency? How can you get your name out there? What if the kids start fighting? Don't panic! The UAPL is here to help. You can find the answers to these questions, and so many more in the books below!

Want more? We also have many fiction books about adventures in babysitting. Check out:

Teen novels set in Ireland

Dena's picture

Happy St. Patrick's Day! To further enjoy this day of green, here are a few award-winning Teen novels set in Ireland:

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch


The Nolan family's dreams of prosperity in a new country are shattered when baby Joseph fails the medical exam at Ellis Island and must be taken back to Cork by his father. Though Da promises a quick return, Ma is miserable. Frustrated by her dependence on the unwilling hospitality of prosperous relatives, she gladly accepts money from her brother-in-law for herself and her three daughters to return home. Having few opportunities in Ireland, 16-year-old Rose rebels and she and 12-year-old Maureen are allowed to remain in New York to seek work and schooling. (School Library Journal, vol 48, issue 5, p146)


The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Anne Bray


It’s the eve of 1994, and the grunge movement has reached its fevered height. On Ireland’s east coast, 16-year-old Maggie, disgruntled and displaced from her native Chicago, after her flighty mother’s recent marriage, listens to Nirvana and misses the uncle in America who snuck her into rock concerts. Her plan is to keep her head down and wait for her mother’s relationship to implode, but she finds herself drawn into her new town of Bray and its generations of inhabitants. When her first real loss comes on the heels of her first love, she undertakes a pilgrimage to the mecca of grunge music: a Nirvana concert in Rome. (Booklist review, vol 111, number 13)

Zom-B by Darren Shan

In the first of a 12-book series, Shan introduces B, an 11-year-old antihero living in Britain. B’s gang of hooligans are going about their routine—cursing, stealing, fighting, drinking, and haranguing the weak—when news reports filter in about a zombie outbreak in Ireland. Despite grainy video clips, no one is sure if these are hoaxes or the real deal. (Booklist, vol 109, number 4, p50)


Don't miss Calvin and Hobbes!

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Calvin and Hobbes fans will delight at the current exhibit of Bill Watterson's beloved cartoon! Check it out at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High Street (on the OSU campus).

Bill Watterson began tossing around the idea of his cartoon strip about the adventures of a six year old boy and his stuffed toy tiger, while working at a job he despised.  His first strip appeared on November 18, 1985 and became an instant hit featured in over 2400 newspapers, worldwide. Ten years later, much to his fans' dismay, Mr. Watterson wrote his final Calvin and Hobbes strip, leaving to pursue other interests. 

Enjoy this recent interview with the artist, Bill Watterson. 

Teen Fiction for when you need to cope with life

Stephanie's picture

Every so often I serendipiously read fiction that has similar themes.  Recently I have been reading some great fiction from 2015 that talk about mental issues.  It could be OCD, anxiety, depression, and dealing with family drug abuse, and or suicide.  Every year seems to bring newer stresses to our lives. Sometimes it is hard to deal with yourself in the world.  Whether you are experiencing some of these issues, or trying to be supportive of friends and family in these situations, try these stories for some bibliotherapy.

every last word tamara stone

Every Last Word by Tamara Stone  Samantha is part of the popular crowd in her school, but she has a secret she keeps from them.  She has purely-obsessional OCD.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven  Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school–both teetering on the edge–it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the “natural wonders” of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold  After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim is dragged from her home in Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi.  When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from “mosquitoland” to her Ohio mother that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.



For more bibliotherapy:

  • It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini = A humorous account of time spent in a psychiatric hospital.
  • OCD Love Story by Cory Ann Haydu = Almost normal relationship between 2 people with OCD
  • Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King  = Learning to cope with bullying and family drama
  • Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff = Lots of anger management and dealing with things out of your control
  • The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley= Dealing with suicide and poor family decision making
  • Crazy by Amy Reed = An honest portrayal of bipolar disorder


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