Kids Not Reading Enough? Patch Has Tips from Author James Patterson
Best-selling author James Patterson gives tips on making your child an avid reader. Plus, here's a great reading list for the fall to get you started.
At Patch, we're always trying to pull together—into one place—all of the best local resources on every topic, including books and reading. We have the good fortune to be working with a best-selling author, James Patterson, in this endeavor, and we'll be continually sharing his reading-list selections for every age here on Patch.
Plus, we'll showcase reading lists from our local librarians, bookstores, and you—our readers. But here is an open letter from James Patterson to moms and dads of reluctant readers.
Dear Moms and Dads,
I've had the good fortune to meet hundreds of teachers and librarians around the country. They always wow me with their tips and tricks to get kids into reading. I thought it was time to get these great ideas out in the open so you all can use them at home.
So, we asked teachers and librarians to send us their ways for successfully turning reluctant kids into hooked readers. There are many methods, but interesting to me is that there are a half-dozen overarching ones from which to work.
Go ahead; give these a shot at home with your kids:
• After a kid has read a book, listen—really listen—to what he or she has to say about it. Show him or her that his or her opinions matter and that you respect his or her judgment.
• Make books—lots of them—available. Go the library (Baldwin's and/or Whitehall's). Go to book sales. Go to bookstores. Give your kiddo many books you've selected especially for him or her to choose from.
• Reward reading—with prizes, with privileges, with praise.
• Set the rules and expectations—how much time, how many books. Your children will rise to your expectations.
• However old they are, read to your children or read with them. Talk about the books you're sharing chapter by chapter so that you are both responsible to keep the conversation going.
• New habits are too easy to break. Don't stop any of this when your kids become avid readers. They need your consistent support.
- James Patterson
Check out these books in the ReadKiddoRead Great Advanced Reads section (ages 12 and older).
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (ages 12 and older)
A girl haunted by her mother's abandonment and saddled with a ghost must navigate her first days of high school. New friends offer to help Maggie rid herself of the ghost, but in the process, violence breaks out, tensions rise, and secrets emerge. Maggie gets unexpected help in this moody, atmospheric graphic novel that is sure to strike a nerve for all those in the sweet, spooky throes of adolescence.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (ages 13 and older)
A poignant story of love between two teens battling cancer. But more importantly, it's a story of growing up and self-discovery for droll, nerdy and all-around adorable teens Hazel and Gus.
The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks (ages 13 and older)
A "whodunnit" of the best sort, this pageturner will keep you riveted! Read about how Rain finds the killer of her former best friend, Wendy, among all the suspicions, lies and speculation.
Get your preteen hooked on reading! Some great recommendations are available in the Great Pageturners section of the ReadKiddoRead site (ages 9 and older)!
Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts; Illustrated by Laura Park (ages 9-14)
If anybody could use a fresh start, it's Rafe Khatchadorian. Rafe gets a chance to leave behind his troubled sixth-grade year (chronicled in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life) when the Khatchadorians move into Grandma's apartment in the city. Then, Rafe is accepted to a school for the artistically inclined, and he vows to put his rule-breaking ways behind him. But things don't go exactly as planned ...
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead (ages 9-12)
When 7-year-old Georges meets his new neighbor Safar and is recruited as a spy, he'll begin questioning how far you can go to keep a friendship.
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (ages 8-12)
Read about a spunky and resourceful detective, Mo (short for Moses), as he tries to uncover the mystery that has his hometown abuzz.
Are your kids just starting to read on their own? Give these selections from the Great Beginner Reads section a try (ages 6-10)!
Bink & Gollie: Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee; Illustrated by Tony Fucile (ages 6-9)
Bink and Gollie go to the state fair, have some fiascos and learn their future from a fortune-teller: They will always be friends. That's all that they need to know.
The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith; Illustrated by Iain McIntosh (ages 7-10)
Everyone is happy in school—even the cat. But all that changes when school treats begin to disappear. Enter Precious Ramotswe and her incredible sleuthing skills. This tale raises questions about friendship and loyalty.
Looking forward to reading to your kid? These selections from the Great Illustrated Books section are a great start (ages 2-6)!
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown (ages 4 and older)
Lucy the Bear happens upon a little boy hiding behind a bush. Lucy excitedly brings him home to show Mom. Mom is NOT amused to find a little boy in her living room and issues a careful warning that "children make terrible pets." Find out how Lucy figures out that, sometimes, leaving things where you find them is a REALLY good idea.
Little Pig Joins the Band by David Hyde Costello (for ages 3-6)
Little Pig wants to play in the family band, but all the instruments are too big for him. Little Pig does not give up hope, though, because he just found the baton and the whistle, which fit him perfectly.
What have you been reading to your kids lately? Which books would you recommend to add to this list? We'd love to hear about your experiences encouraging your child to read!
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