Sunday, May 25, 2014

Random Ramble: Encouraging the Reluctant Reader (Guestpost!)

Today we have another guest post by my mom! It's not always easy to get kids who don't like to read to pick up a book and my mom has some advice on how she got my more reluctant brother to read as a child! 

Encouraging the reluctant reader

Another assumption people make about our family since Megan loves books is that my son must be a big reader too. I think I even fell victim to this belief myself when Brendan was young. We had amassed a large collection of great children's books - so why wouldn't he want to read them? We had a few big hits like, Are You My Mother and anything by Dr. Seuss, but that was it. When grade school started, our home library continued to grow. We had almost the entire set of The Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones. Megan consumed them all faster than we could get them, but with Brendan it was like pulling teeth.  It may seem stereotypical, but people say this is frequently the case with boys. I think people take that as the easy answer - write them off as non-readers and attribute it to video games or gender or whatever.

We started to spend days at the public library - first, this was a less expensive way to supply Megan's thirst for books, but it also opened my eyes that Brendan didn't hate books - his interests were just different. Where Megan loved to lose herself in the worlds of fiction, Brendan was grounded more in reality. Non-fiction books peaked his curiosity - bugs, sharks, dinosaurs, anything science or history based fit the bill.

As Brendan got older, I just needed to stretch where I looked for books. Brendan will never be as big a book fan as Megan, but not many people are. Here is a list of some of my favorite books for the reluctant reader. We would love to hear any suggestions you have for books you think other reluctant readers would enjoy.

Dan Gutman is still a hero in my eyes. The Weird School Series is fantastic, as are his books about sports heroes.
 Lucy & Stephen Hawking wrote some great books too that entwine space and science with a great storyline. (Check out the first one here)
Kingdom Keepers Series by Ridley Pearson - this series takes place inside the Disney theme parks which any fan of the parks themselves or the characters (especially the evil ones) can't help but enjoy.
The Boy Who Dared by Susan-Campbell-Bartoletti 
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 

Do you know anyone who is a reluctant reader? I know one of my favorite things is recommending or gifting a book to someone and watching them fall in love with it! Do you have any go-to favorites that even a "non-reader" would love? Let us know in the comments below! 

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