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Proven Tips: How to Raise a Reader

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

Looking for something to help pave the way to Junior’s success in school while building his self-confidence and motivating him to set high expectations for life?  The answer is right in front of you. Literally.  

Reading is a vital part of life.  Helping your child discover books that pique his interest can not only help Junior do better in school, it can help him learn to look for and understand information that will help him make choices and decisions throughout life.

But learning to love reading doesn’t happen overnight.  You have to nurture your little bookworm in training; teach him the ways of the book lover.  Not sure where to start?  Try these proven tips as outlined on www.greatschools.com:

• take turns reading out loud with your child

• offer your own incentive program

• create your own “library days”

And, if you’re looking for ideas on books to try out for February, consider these titles:

Ages 3 to 5

Nora’s Chicks by Patricia MacLachlan (Candlewick Press, 2013), $15.99.  Nora is lonely.  She and her family have just moved to America from Russia, and she feels so alone.  It seems like everyone except Nora has someone or something to call his own.  Papa has the cows he sings to as he milks them.  Even her baby brother, Milo, has a dog that follows him around!  That all changes, though, when Papa brings home a dozen chicks and two geese just for Nora.  She’s so happy, she names each one.  But, then one of her beloved chicks goes missing…

Ages 3 and up

One Gorilla:  A Counting Book by Anthony Browne (Candlewick Press, 2013), $16.99.  What better attention-getter for small children than primates?  Vivid illustrations of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his attention to detail and quirky flair for facial expressions, Anthony Browne slyly extends the basic number concept into a look at similarities and differences.

Ages 4 to 8

Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann (HarperCollins Publishers, 2013), $17.99.  Turning ordinary places into an Emeraldalicious world is Pinkalicious’s new goal in life.  It all starts when Pinkalicious and her friend, Peter, find their favorite park filled with trash.  Desperate to make the stinky trash disappear, Pinkalicious makes a special wand out of a stick and some flowers, makes a wish, adds a little love, and recites a pinkatastic rhyme.  Pinkerrific magic happens!

Ages 8 to 12

I Funny:  A Middle School Story by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, December 2012), $15.99.  It may seem like Jamie Grimm doesn’t have a lot to laugh about in his life.  He’s just moved to a new town with his aunt, uncle, and cousin Stevie.  And, he’s in a wheelchair.  But, that doesn’t stop Jamie from working toward his life’s dream:  becoming the world’s greatest stand-up (well, sit-down, maybe) comedian.  He practices his craft every chance he gets, even when evil Stevie is bullying him around.  Then, Uncle Frankie mentions “The Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic” contest, and Jamie jumps at his chance.  A warm story of courage and overcoming odds.

Big Nate Flips Out by Lincoln Peirce (HarperCollins Publishers, 2013), $13.99.  Can Big Nate clean up his act when his sloppiness gets out of hand and lands his best friend, Francis, in deep trouble?  The “king of detention and cartooning genius” Nate Wright is back to his old antics in this uproariously funny bestseller.

And for Mommy

The Racketeer by John Grisham (Knopf, Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012), $28.95.  Malcolm Bannister has been in jail for a long time, and he’s only halfway done with his sentence.  When Judge Raymond Fawcett is murdered, things start looking a little different for Malcolm.  He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why.  Malcolm is willing to tell what he knows for a price – and it ain’t cheap.  Nothing is as it seems as twists and turns keep coming with every turn of the page in Grisham’s newest legal thriller.

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Tags: Education, Featured Story

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