Encouraging your teen to read.

Updated: Apr 21

In the beginning...

When my kids were little I read to them, as most of us do. We loved these times together. As they grew older, we would co-read.


We generally shared a book and would read when we had time, then discuss it when we had time together. Now, lest I give the wrong impression, I'm not talking deep and meaningful books. I have boys. We usually read some sort of action/adventure novel.

Our conversations weren't that deep and meaningful, either. I'd say something like, "Did you get to the part where...?" We would laugh and talk about the characters and plot line while we drove to school or activities.




Occasionally I get an audio book from the library for us to share. I've done this a few times in the last year. I usually pick one that has a message I think my son will enjoy. We've listened to one about young men making a difference in the world, and a more political one about our changing world as it relates to Christians. These were fine, but never really sparked discussion. While we listen he's usually playing a game on his phone, but he doesn't have earbuds in, so I know the message was still getting into him.


UNTIL...

I've been wanting to read a book by Bob Goff for some time. I follow him on social media and honestly, he's kind of goofy (sorry, Bob). He looks like a fun guy who doesn't take himself too seriously. I decided that since I did not want to buy a book right now, I would just get the audio book from the library.


Cover of Everybody Always by Bob Goff; background is fun confetti
LOVE this book!

I chose Everybody Always. This book is based on Jesus's command to love others has He has loved us (John 15:12). Honestly, my first thought was, "Really? What can he talk about for an entire book? Love everyone, done."



I was so wrong! There is a lot to unpack about loving others as Jesus loves us.

And Bob does it so well! He's hilarious. At one point he's discussing loving those who are strangers, sick, or naked (Matthew 25:43) and he says (this is my best attempt, I'm sure it's not word-for-word accurate; you'll still get the point), "Naked people can be hard to come by. We have a nudist colony not far from our house. I stand up on the hill and throw socks toward them." My son and I cracked up!



Bob knows the most interesting people. That's probably because he, too, is an interesting person and seems to genuinely love others the way he's trying to teach his readers to love - like Jesus.


He also has the great skill of weaving together several seemingly unrelated stories.. It's masterful! My son and I are always wondering how in the world he's going to tie the ideas together before the end of the chapter.


And inevitably, there's good content. Whether we talk about how unrealistic something sounds, the stories in the book, or how to enact a skill Bob is teaching, we laugh and have a good time listening. Several times I've turned on the book while my son is on his phone. He actually put down the phone to listen to the book! I knew I found a winner the first time that happened. I think we'll be listening to all of Bob Goff's books this year.


Find your perfect book

So that's what's working in this season with my son. I encourage you to try what works for your kids. Use age-appropriate books, of course. But reading with them in any form can spark some lively discussions.


Have fun! And check out Bob Goff. I think you'll like him. 😀


❓ What books/authors do you like to read with your kids? Tell me below in the comments section (scroll all the way to the bottom).


Happy reading,


If you enjoyed this article, I would be honored for you to share it with your friends and family.


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