July 03, 2012 —

Reading is a great way to bring parents and teens together, and being part of the same book club can promote bonding and start conversations about important subjects. When chosen carefully, the right book can also open the door to a discussion with your teen about tricky topics like drugs, alcohol, and risky behaviors, and it can really allow both you and your child to have an open dialogue.

I founded the Northport Community Book Club to educate teens and parents in my community about drug and alcohol addiction, recovery, and prevention, with the purpose of keeping our kids and our community safe. Summer is the perfect time to start a book club of you own with your teen – whether it’s just the two of you or a small group of your friends and their teens.

In May, the Northport Community Book Club read Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster by Kristen Johnston – it’s a memoir of a Hollywood actress who rose to fame on the hit TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun and then crashed, hard. So far, I can’t put it down! And for June, we’ll be discussing Josh Hamilton’s Beyond Belief, an autobiography of a professional baseball player who had a bright future ahead of him until he spiraled into a drug and alcohol addiction. Both authors took a good, hard look at their lives and turned around their careers, but it wasn’t easy. I’m expecting these stories to be inspirational and great reads.

Here are more suggestions for books that will help get the conversation going between you and your teen:

  • Tweak by Nic Sheff
  • Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
  • We All Fall Down by Nic Sheff
  • The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown
  • This River by James Brown
  • Comeback A Mother and Daughter’s Journey To Hell and Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine
  • Basketball Junkie by Chris Herren
  • Lost and Found by Christy Crandell
  • In The Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard

I encourage you to get your own summer book club started and to join our discussion on Facebook and Twitter.