How YA Titles Help You Connect with Your Teenage Child

Collage of photos of different young adults
02/18/2020

How Young Adult Titles Help You Speak Your Teen's Language

How YA Titles Help You Connect with Your Teenage Child

Listening to your teen’s favourite Young Adult titles opens up new ways to communicate with them and guide them through their adolescent years

Talking to teenagers can be a real challenge for parents. As your children hit their adolescent years, they’re developing a greater sense of privacy and control, and while it’s good to respect those boundaries, it can be tough for parents to ask the right questions. This is where Young Adult titles can help bridge the gap. By sharing stories from this genre with your teen, you’re better equipped to relate to their struggles, ask about their experiences and stay connected as they enter an exciting, turbulent chapter of their lives.

The Young Adult genre captures the anxiety, heartbreak and intensity of coming of age, and teens tend to see their own lives and struggles reflected. When you listen to the same titles, you can gain some insights into the world your teenagers are living in. And you might find a story you love, too. Believe it or not, 55% of the YA audience is over the age of 18.

Don’t know where to get started? Not only are these three titles some of the most popular in YA, but they can both be springboards to better communication with your teenager.

Young adult dressed as a super hero stands on a flat field with the sun rising in the background

Tough Topics and Role Models in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is one of the biggest YA titles in recent memory thanks to Katniss Everdeen, the series’ stereotype-busting protagonist. Katniss is a warrior, celebrity and a loyal sister and friend. Katniss is a role model both girls and boys can look up to.

The Hunger Games is a gateway into talking about tough topics like politics, inequality and war. The life Katniss lives in her impoverished home region of District 12 in Panem may be science fiction, but it’s not that different from the experiences people around the world are already living. Adolescence is a time when children start to become more engaged with politics and build an awareness of inequality in the world. Titles like The Hunger Games can help them process that reality and, more importantly, develop their own response to it.

Katniss confronts a system rigged against her by changing the rules of the game. She’s not just a role model because of her strength, but because she uses that strength to become a positive force for her friends and family. You can use The Hunger Games as a way to talk to your teenager about making a difference and doing good in the world.

One of the biggest ways Katniss becomes a force for good is standing up to authorities and following her own moral compass. In the blood sport that is The Hunger Games, Katniss makes alliances with her competitors and refuses to strike without being threatened herself. It’s what makes her such a powerful role model for teens questioning the way the world works.

The dystopian worlds of science fiction like The Hunger Games are often metaphors for oppression and inequality found in society today. When you discover new sci fi & fantasy titles for young adults, you can open up a real dialogue with your teen about their worldview and the issues that matter to them.

The Hunger Games: Special Edition

Author:
Suzanne Collins
Narrator:
Tatiana Maslany
Length:
10:35
Series:
Hunger Games
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

A First Time for Everything in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

A good YA series doesn’t have to be about changing the world. It can also be about navigating new experiences and personal relationships, especially when it comes to teen romance.

The best audiobooks for young adults & teens have an intensity that other genres just don’t have. When you press the play button and start the perfect YA title, everything else melts away and you soon find yourself immersed in the memory of “your first time” – your first crush, your first kiss or the first time you plucked up the courage to ask someone out.

Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before perfectly captures the nerve-wracking, embarrassing experience of having a crush and the fallout when they suddenly find out about it. That’s what happens to Lara Jean Song, whose secret love letters to every crush she’s ever had are mysteriously mailed to the boys she wrote about.

Getting your teen to talk about their crushes and love life is tough, but it can be a lot easier with a safe space. Through the shared experience of listening, you open a channel for positive, productive dialogue.

Sharing a listen like this gives you a chance to let your teen know that there’s no reason to be embarrassed about a crush, even if people find out about it. Now’s the chance to let your teen know that it’s not the end of the world.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Author:
Jenny Han
Narrator:
Ali Ahn
Length:
8:44
Series:
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Making Sense of a World Full of Noise in The Knife of Never Letting Go

Technology can make generation gaps feel even wider. While you may feel the stress of being bombarded by emails, work-related group chats and digital media, an always-connected world may be all your teen has ever known.

That’s the theme of this title by Patrick Ness. It’s set on an alien planet recently colonized by humankind where the inhabitants can all hear each other’s thoughts, the result of a disease that only left men surviving on the planet. Todd Hewitt grows up with the “Noise,” as the settlers call it, and he has to navigate both information overload and what it means to become a man in a hyper-masculine society where there is little privacy.

If you’re looking for a world that reflects the challenge of growing up in the age of social media dominance, this is the perfect title to help you discuss the unique challenges facing young people in the age of social media.

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking, Book 1

Author:
Patrick Ness
Narrator:
Nick Podehl
Length:
11:54
Series:
Chaos Walking
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

YA Is an Emotional Roadmap for Teens and Parents

YA resonates strongly with many people because they find the emotions, experiences and relationships of the protagonists familiar. Teens can feel isolated as they deal with extreme emotions, the ups and downs of hormones and conflicts with their parents and classmates.

These are the same situations you’ll find in teen & young adult classics and they can give teens a roadmap to their own emotions. As a parent, listening to YA can help you communicate with your teen by reminding you what’s going on in their head.

With Audible as your source for audiobooks, you won’t ever run out of new titles to share with your teen.

There are always exciting new releases coming out in YA, so share your thoughts and your favourite Audible titles on our Facebook page.

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All articles: young adult