The only books I seem to read are those which come with pictures (think cookbooks or decorating books). I used to read real books. You know, stories with a plot, and an ending. Way back before children. Before breastfeeding left me void of brain cells.
I don’t know how I did it, but I’ve managed to homeschool 3 children, two of which are now voracious readers. As in CHAPTER books. The first child took to reading like a hawk to prey, but the second born took a good deal more coaxing. The trick was to let her think that I could care less if she ever picked up a book on her own accord. So I would leave books laying about, strategically placed throughout the house.
This ploy finally worked. And I have to thank Christian author, Robert Liparulo, for his amazing Dreamhouse Kings series for young adults. Emme has plowed through each of these books at least twice over the last year. One day, without provocation, Cailey picked up the first in the series to peruse the first few pages, wherein she completely expected to slam it closed and declare it boring.
But she couldn’t. She read the 1st book, then the 2nd, and so on. All the way to the 6th book. All in the span of about a month she covered the entire series. And cried bitter tears when she reached the last page of the last book. She is now hooked on reading.
I am forever on the search for new tween-suited reading material now for TWO avid readers in my house. Emme has a subscription to a couple of tween magazines (Discovery Girls, and the faith based, Susie Magazine). They often review books that might appeal to girls between the ages of 11 and 14. Recently Emme read a review on a book called When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
We checked it out from the library and Emme devoured it. She came to me after finishing it, and breathlessly declared it the best book she’s ever read. It is along the lines of A Wrinkle in Time and pays direct homage to that wonderful story.
The book has even received the John Newberry Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children.
I started reading it aloud at bedtime to the kids, and found myself quite drawn into the story. So much so that I’ve been sneaking off reading ahead.
The only drawback might be just a little bit of salty language, but these aren’t the really BAD $4.00 words. Just a minor word here or there that I simply changed while reading out loud. Not significant. And I don’t even remember what they were and can no longer find them. Because, Hello? Brain cells? PFFFHHHTTTT.
Anyhoo. Anytime I find a book that appeals to the tween set in this house, I want to share. And for the record, no one gave me anything to review, and I don’t even open myself up for book reviews (because I’d have to, you know, READ).
If you have any tween suitable literature that you’ve discovered, I’d love for you to share it in the comments section. Whenever I do a reading-centric post, I find that there are so many other parents looking for books for this age group as well.