Teens in Florida read and Florida school librarians know it! The Florida Teens Read (FTR) program is a student- choice reading award program to determine which YA book wins the annual award as the favorite of teens in Florida. The reading list is comprised of fifteen titles that have been chosen by a committee of twelve school librarians specifically to engage high school students (grades 9 through 12) in reading and reflect their interests as well as represent a variety of genres, formats, reading levels, viewpoints, and ethnic and cultural perspectives. The committee meets in the spring to select the fifteen titles to comprise the next school year's list. They then immediately start to read YA books for the following year's list. In October, at the FAME annual conference, the committee narrows down the long list of hundreds of titles they have read that have a publishing date of the current and previous year to the short list of seventy-five titles. In the late spring, the committee meets again to discuss which books will make the final list of fifteen titles, taking into account their students' opinions as well student reviews.
This program is designed to entice teens to read. In order to engage their interest and to provide a spur to critical thinking, the book selections include those that involve sensitive issues. The content of some of the titles may be more mature than younger students may have previously encountered. Please recognize that this is a voluntary reading program. Not every book selected will suit every student. In a democratic society, a variety of ideas must find voice. As readers, teens have the choice to read the more mature titles or to close the book.