MY TEENAGE SON RECENTLY discovered audiobooks.

An avid reader until high school, he all but stopped reading because he “couldn’t find any books he liked.” Sound familiar?

Maybe he read so much for his classes that his reading capacity was tapped out, or maybe it was a developmental issue. However — although I didn’t say this aloud (much) — I found it hard to believe that with the thousands of books published every year, he couldn’t find anything good.

That is, until he tried listened to an audiobook. Now he’s listened to three books in the space of a month, and if he finds a part “boring” he just puts the narration on 1.5 speed until the next chapter begins! I’m thrilled.

Reluctant teen readers often find that audiobooks make for a more engaging experience

Will this last? Who knows. But I believe it’s a good thing for however long it continues. Studies show that reading fiction helps to develop empathy and increases your attention span. Teen Read Week, an organization which advocates teen reading, calls audiobooks “a great option for teens with a time crunch, because they’re the perfect way to listen on the go.”

Journalist Kristen Luby goes on to state, “Reluctant teen readers often find that audiobooks make for a more engaging and entertaining experience – sound effects, music, and multiple narrators bring stories to life!”

This comes at an especially significant time for me, since Audible just released the audiobook version of Thieving Forest. Thieving Forest been given an 800 Lexile Score, which means that it’s appropriate for readers in the 8th grade and up. To celebrate, I’ve decided to set up a raffle to give away five free audiobooks.

To win a chance at a free listen, just fill out your name and email address below. I’ll pick five winners on December 15th. Good luck, and happy listening!


Yes! I want to win a free audiobook of Thieving Forest. Sign me up!

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Martha Conway’s new novel, Thieving Forest, won the North American Book Award in Historical Fiction and a Silver Medal in Historical Fiction in the Independent Publishers Awards, and her first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award. Her short stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Folio, and other journals. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio and UC Berkeley Extension.