Taking the reluctant out of the reader

Girl-reading by Fiddledeedee.net

Recently I’ve been posting about the reading wars going on at our house.  Something I never ever thought I’d be witness to.  The first daughter began with the Boxcar Children series, worked her way through all of the American Girl books, a few more series entered the fray, and then she was hooked on Robert Liparulo’s Dreamhouse Kings series.

That’s when the reading frenzy hit a high note. (I cannot say enough wonderful things about this series that is geared to teenagers and young adults.)

And the 2nd daughter took notice.  Cailey was a good reader, but never ever picked up a book on her own accord.  When I first began implementing the required 15 minute book reading time for our My Father’s World curriculum (only picking from library books that covered the weekly theme) you would have thought I had asked her to stab herself in the head.

It seemed I had a reluctant reader.

Recently I read an article posted over at Mom’s Homeroom about how to encourage a reluctant reader.  And one school of thought is that there are no reluctant readers.  Those children simply haven’t found the right book yet.

And this could not be more true than with my Cailey.

For the last few years I’ve made certain to leave attractive and desirable books scattered about, in the hopes that she might trip over one and be curious enough to open the pages.  Finally I quit trying so hard.  I knew she could read, I know that she’s intelligent, and I hoped that one day the reading bug would bite her.

Emme began discussing the Dreamhouse Kings series with her father (who has read a lot of Robert Liparulo’s books aimed at adults).  Something must have sparked Cailey’s curiosity because she disappeared into her room with the 1st book in the series, House of Dark Shadows, tucked under her arm.

I didn’t see her for 3 days.

One by one she devoured each book.  It was so strange at first to see her sitting quietly on the couch with her nose in a book.  First of all, it’s strange to see her quiet.  BUT READING!  Icing on my cake.

And then, as I’ve mentioned, Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keeper’s series, which takes place IN THE DISNEY PARKS, has lately captured their focus.  There are 5 books in the series.  The first 4 we’ve gotten from the library and we’re still on hold for the last.  There were physical altercations ensuing over who got the book to read.  Finally after some illegal late night reading sessions, Emme pulled ahead and is one book in front of her sister.

There is quiet reading peace in my valley once more.

Jensen has already taken a shine to several book series (even though he’s only reading short vowel words for the most part on his own).  I feel like the love of reading will come easily for him.  Especially if the subject is dogs.  Or dinosaurs.

I’m trying to amass a recommended reading list for tweens and teens (both girls and boys) and thought I’d come to you all once again for your suggestions.  I will take copious notes from this post and the last time I did this and compile a full list to post.

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July 27, 2012

2 Responses to Taking the reluctant out of the reader

  • Isn’t it awesome when they begin reading! 🙂 My nephew finally began reading, voluntarily, when he saw his Aunt Jennifer reading a series by Joann Fluke. They are a murder mystery series, but don’t have a lot of inappropriate content. The heroine of the series isn’t even a detective, she’s a baker who owns her own cookie shop. AND the book even contains recipes. SCORE! 🙂 David loves mysteries, and this one was right up his alley. The whole family reads them now, and he has met the author 3 times. 🙂

    I don’t know that this is for your children, but it’s what got David reading. 🙂

  • For Jensen, try the Absolutely Lucy books. It’s about a boy and a dog and it’s the only series my youngest daughter has been willing to read. They’re very easy and marked her graduation from, “No, there aren’t any more Biscuit books you haven’t read,” to chapter books. Now if only we can find something else to draw her in.