Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Read, Read, Read (Mary Strand)

Hey! Here's a GREAT read!
This month is all about advice for parents of teen readers. I’ll have the last of my own teen readers only for another month or so, when my daughter turns 20. Of course, I’m also a YA writer talking to parents of OTHER teens ... and talking to teens.

We’re still in quarantine, and we’ll likely be in some version of it for the foreseeable future, so I’ll keep this relatively short. Mostly because right now, thanks to the quarantine, I have only so much in me, and I’d rather spend it walking or hiking or biking or shooting hoops in the driveway.

Or reading.

So, my advice to parents of teens in these times: LET THEM READ. MAKE SURE THEY READ.

Something beyond homework: novels and short stories and other fiction they love. Whatever they want. Rereading words they love. Comfort reads. Happy reads.

Anything goes.

My daughter just tore through the whole Princess Diaries series again, seemingly in a single day, even as she’s working on finishing her sophomore year of college online. She and I have been borrowing (swiping) YA books from each other. I grabbed Harry Potter and Oh. My. Gods. from her and tried to grab The Hunger Games, but neither of us could find it in her bedroom, so I actually went to Target and bought it. Again. I confess that my own reading choices related to research for a YA series I’m writing, but I’ve read all of those books before and loved rereading them.

I loved rereading them so much that this past week I dug through my piles of historical novels and grabbed my first and favorite Georgette Heyer novel, Frederica, because HOO BOY do I need comfort in these difficult times. As I write this, it occurs to me that I’ll probably follow that up with Nicole Burnham’s Royally Jacked series. At least, I HOPE to, because my quick perusal of the YA bookshelf next to my office reveals that the entire series is missing. One guess who swiped it from me!
So those are my thoughts right now to teens, and parents of teens, and everyone else. Read something you love. REread something you love. Comfort reads all the way, baby, and no judgment. Don’t dictate what someone else should read. If your teens want to read Captain Underpants or ANYTHING ELSE right now, let them.

Whatever it takes to get through this. Tolstoy can wait for another day.

Unless of course Tolstoy is your jam. Then go for it.

Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at


  1. Amen! I am an incurable book lover, buyer and reader. Thus far in 2020, I've read over 150, but my TBR pile hasn't shrunk at all. Best of all possible worlds methinks. Most of what I read is YA and lately I've found an abundance of Space Opera and fantasy.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm currently trying to decide which comfort read to start tonight! :-)