2. I spent most of my childhood reading terrible fantasy books - I really enjoyed David Eddings work as a teenager but rereading them as an adult showed how hackneyed, generic and poorly written they were.
Although I'd still recommend them to teenagers as they make a great drinking game. Take a drink every time someone does something 'drily' (or 'dryly' - they use both spellings interchangeably). You'll be comatose well before the end of the first book! Gareth
3. When I was a teenager I sadly did not read as much as I probably should have. I was too busy watching hundreds of films. One book I did enjoy for its teen angst and frustrations with life was Catcher in the Rye. Cliche but true! Squeamish Nicola
4. One thing I'd love to be able to give all teenagers is the joy of learning how reading can transport you. Not necessarily very far, but just far enough: into other people's minds and lives. That door into how other people think and why they might act the way they do is invaluable. At its best, reading is a form of understanding that you might not get any other way. So I'd like to recommend that teens read books about experiences that are not their own. About people they might never meet. They might be people just like them who they would never speak to, or people from other times; countries; cultures; worlds. So the exact book would differ from person to person - perhaps The Colour Purple by Alice Walker as a way of learning about the lives of women of colour in 1930s Southern America. Perhaps Iain M Banks' imagined Culture (I'd start with The Player of Games). Perhaps Zadie Smith's detailed and empathetic descriptions of Londoner's inner lives in her books. Squeamish Louise
5. Studying To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the few things I recall from my GCSE English class. Apart from the time my English teacher mispronounced plough as "pluff" when reading a poem aloud and tried to style it out by insisting "some people say it like that". When I wasn't attending my totes prestigious school I know I read a lot. I cannot, however, for the life of me recall what I read. I did read The Bloody Chamber but if you're taking English A Level that'll blow your nasty mind then. I read Zadie Smith's White Teeth in a single sitting, it's that good. I'd suggest Janet Frame's second autobiography An Angel at my Table, for those looking to be inspired and amused then maybe read Tina Fey's Bossypants. But I don't think it matters what you read as long as you enjoy it. Also, educating yourself is the best rebellion, your library card is a weapon. Use it. Squeamish Kate