It makes sense. The more kids read, the better they are at it and the more they like it. It also makes sense that if kids don’t like to read, they may be avoiding it because it’s a struggle for them.
If you have a child who doesn’t like to read, it’s helpful to find out why. Talk to him to find out what it is about reading that he doesn’t like. You may have to do a little reading yourself when Junior answers you - reading between the lines, that is. For instance, if Junior says, “Reading is no fun,” he may actually be telling you books are causing him anxiety. Even for children with strong reading skills, pressure from school and home that emphasize reading for performance can make reading seem like a chore. Try to take the pressure off reading, so that your child can enjoy it by helping him find “fun” reading materials on subjects that interest him.
Here are a few fun titles that Junior may find fun:
What’s in the Garden? by Marianne Berkes (Dawn Publications, 2013), $8.95 (paperback). Your mouth is sure to start watering as you read this yummy book with your youngsters! Rhyming text makes this book fun to read, as you learn about the wonder of how food grows. From blossoming trees and flowering buds to underground crops and edibles on a vine, this book takes you through a garden bursting with treats. Vivid illustrations and delicious-sounding recipes make this book a great way to interact with young readers. Additional material at the end of the book also gives readers interesting tidbits on plants and how they grow.
Little Critter: Just a Big Storm by Mercer Mayer (HarperCollins, 2013), $3.99. Being in the dark can be a scary thing especially when it’s stormy outside. Find out what Little Critter and his family do when they lose power during a big storm.
The Matchbook Diaryby Paul Fleischman (Candlewick Press, 2013), $16.99. A little girl who shows an interest in unusual objects at her great-grandfather’s house gets to go on a journey down memory lane when she chooses an old cigar box to investigate. What she finds inside surprises her: a collection of matchboxes making up her great-grandfather’s diary, harboring objects she can hold in her hand, each one evoking a memory. They tell of his journey from Italy to a new country before he could read and write—the olive pit his mother gave him to suck on when there wasn’t enough food; a bottle cap he saw on his way to the boat; a ticket still retaining the thrill of his first baseball game. Interesting dialogue and expressive illustrations make this foray into the past worth reading.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis (Candlewick Press, 2013), $14.99. Eleven-year-old Timmy Failure may be clueless, but he is also the CEO of the best detective agency in town – maybe even in the country! He, his lazy partner, Total (a very large polar bear), and Timmy’s moms, Segway, make up the staff of Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. It also doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission. Funny illustrations accompany this hilarious whodunit, making readers snort with laughter.
Middle School: My Brother is a Big, Fat Liarby James Patterson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013), $15.99. The third installment in the #1 New York Times bestselling Middle School series, this book finds Georgia Khatchadorian planning to shine at Hills Village Middle School in all the places her troublemaking brother failed. She even bet him that she’ll quickly become one of the most popular girls in school. But. no one will give Georgia a chance. Rafe does his best to make sure about that. Read about Georgia and Rafe’s hilarious rivalry in this Middle School book that’s from the point of view of a girl who’s ready to speak her mind.
ONLY FOR MOM
Brava Valentine by Adriani Trigiani (HarperCollins, 2010), $14.99. Valentine Roncalli, shoe designer for the family-owned, New York-based Angelini Shoe Company, is in for some big surprises in this second installment of the trilogy about Valentine and her family. Her grandmother has found true love, uprooted herself, and moved to Italy, leaving the business to Valentine and Alfred, a brother she’s never really gotten along with very well. As Val and Alfred work to find their footing, a business venture takes Valentine to Buenos Aires to meet a distant cousin Val just found out about, who also happens to own a shoe factory. The discovery of this unknown branch of the family tree stuns the entire family. An entertaining story about family ties, duty, and love.