Home Library Builder For 11-13: Great Start!

Dec 15, 2012



Sisters (8-11) reading book, lying on bed

Dec 15, 2012

Congratulations! You've taken a great step toward building a strong home library for your 11- to 13-year-old. Learn the answers to the quiz questions below, and find some tips and suggestions for ways you can build upon your current efforts. 


1. How many books are in your child’s library?

Best answer:  You should try to increase the number of books in your child’s library so that you have more than 50.  At this age, children need lots of different titles from which to choose.  Furthermore, they will need to read more challenging books to gain the vocabulary and academic language they will need to succeed in their school subject areas.  Reading -- and reading often -- is important during these years. Try some of these popular titles for tweens.


2. What percentage of non-fiction books does your child have?

Best answer: You should consider increasing the number of nonfiction books so that these titles make up more than 60% of your child’s library. Information books are critically important at this stage of your child’s reading development.  More and more of the books that will be read in school will be information-related, and students will need to understand some of the genre-features of this type of text, e.g., understanding how to use an index, interpreting diagrams and graphs, and using the glossary to determine the meaning of words.  The more your child reads this type of text, the easier it will be to read and successfully comprehend content texts in school. Here are some great non-fiction books that should interest your child and motivate him or her to read more. 


3. How many textbooks should I include in my child’s library? 

Best answer: Zero. You might consider adding more informational books to your child’s library instead of textbooks.  While textbooks often survey topics of interest, they rarely offer the depth that your child might want in learning about a topic.  If there is interest in a particular subject, find books that include useful information and features such as diagrams, tables, pictures, or illustrations that provide more in-depth information.


4. How many series books should I include in my child’s library?

Best answer: Strive to have 1-2 book series featuring the same character or characters.  Encyclopedia Brown, for example, has a very popular mystery series that children continue to love.  Harry Potter is another wonderful example of a book series that continues to draw children to read.  The great thing about book series is that they encourage children to read a lot—once they become hooked on a series, they will generally want to read every volume in the collection.   Over time, that means a lot of good reading time. Your tween is sure to love some – or all – of these series.


5. What percentage of fiction books should I include in my child’s library?

Best answer: Aim for 26%-50% of your child’s library to consist of fiction titles. During these years, there is nothing more pleasurable than sitting and reading something fantastical. This book list offers some titles your tween is sure to love


6. How many classics are in my child’s library?

Best answer:  11-20. There are some incredible classics that will surely intrigue your child, now at the independent stage of reading.  Who could forget To Kill a MockingbirdAnimal Farm, or Fahrenheit 451?  These books will be read again and again for their depth and complexity, and are great books to have a discussion around.  These classics by Roald Dahl are also sure to please your child at this age. 


7. How many eBooks do you have in your child’s library?

Best answer:  You can probably never have enough eBooks in your child’s library, but aim for more than 5.  These books, along with their other technologies, will increasingly take over their printed versions, given the enormous capabilities of these books to interest and capture your child’s attention.  If you have a highly proficient reader, these books will help to extend your child’s vocabulary and comprehension.  If your child is a struggling reader, the many functions of the eBooks may be too distracting for him or her.  Take into account your child’s reading proficiency when adding eBooks to your library. 


8. How often should I refresh my child’s library?

Best answer:  c.  Consider refreshing your child’s library each month, especially in these tween/teen years when reading is often displaced with other activities.  Try to enhance your library by selecting books that represent your child’s current interests, whether it be sports, science or drama activities.  Remember that reading frequently increases your child’s vocabulary, background knowledge, and comprehension skills -- all essential for school and lifetime success.

Take this quiz again!

Age 13
Age 12
Age 11