"Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them."
- Arnold Lobel


Every Tuesday is Book Review Day, where I review and recommend a children's book.

Every Wednesday is Wise Owl Wednesday, where you can butter up your brain with some children's literature facts - history, milestones, trivia ... stop by here to learn a little something about the amazing world of books for the young!

Every Thursday is Literacy Tip Day, where I offer literacy suggestions for your children based upon my teaching and parenting experience.

Keep cozy this fall with a good book!

27 May 2010

Literacy Tip #6 - How to Reach Your Reluctant Reader and a Giveaway in Honor of Armchair BEA!

Don't worry. You can and will reach your reluctant reader.  Here's how!

Many reasons exist as to why a child is a reluctant reader - too many to list here! I will touch on a few basic reasons and give some possible solutions. 
  • Does your child have a difficult time decoding sounds? Matching letters with sounds? If so, spend extra time daily, even just 15 minutes, reading aloud to your child.  Point to the print as you read it aloud, so your child can follow along.  Your child needs to hear the letter and sound association over and over.
  • Does your child dislike having to sit still to do the actual reading? No problem! Books on CD are a great fit for a variety of reading needs, including this one! Download a book or story on an iPod, and have your child listen to it while he or she is doing chores or out for a walk.  To take this a big step further, listen to a book on CD in the car with your child (he or she is sitting down anyway!).  Not only will your child be developing literacy skills, but the two of you will be engaged in the story together.  This is a prime opportunity to discuss the elements of a story (plot, setting, characters) with your child! Ask questions about the story:  Why did the main character do that? What caused him to make that decision? Do you agree with what he did? Posing questions to your child about the story strengthens higher-level thinking skills and encourages him or her to listen carefully to the story for further reflection.
  • Is your child a strong reader but seems disinterested in reading for pleasure? This requires some trial-and-error, but the advantage here is that so many different books exist that you and your child are bound to find something he or she will enjoy reading! First, try some different genres that you think your child would enjoy.  The best place to start would be matching your child's real life interests with similar topics in literature.  Next, think about your child's personality type.  Is he or she outgoing, athletic, shy, optimistic, or a deep thinker? Obviously, your child's personality is very unique, but excellent authors can delve deeply into the many aspects of the human experience, so, again, you're certain to find a particular author whose work your child will enjoy.  For example, Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events is a wonderful fit for someone with a keen and dry sense of humor.  Whether or not a melodramatic plotline is your top preference, his writing style will carry you through the series if you enjoy sarcasm.  

Give some of these ideas (or derivatives of them) a try.  Again, these were very broad suggestions, but I will continue to offer more tips related to this topic in future postings! Remember, you can and will reach your reluctant reader!!! 

And to reach your reluctant reader, one lucky person will win this hardcopy edition of Murder at Midnight by Avi, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.
    Murder At Midnight

    • To enter this giveaway, you must be a follower of this blog and leave a comment on this post about a future topic you would like to see in my Thursday Literacy Tips.  Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so I know how to contact you if you win!
    • For an additional entry, grab my button and place it on your blog - you do not have to place it on your sidebar; anywhere on your blog is fine, such as in a post or on another page.  (I won't complain if you do place it on your sidebar, though!!!)  Be sure to leave a comment for me that you completed this option!
    • For another additional entry, blog about this giveaway and link back to this post.  Again, please leave a comment here so I am aware of it!
    • Best of luck! This giveaway is open until 11:59 pm CST, Friday, June 4, 2010.

    **The final clues for tomorrow's mystery children's author or illustrator are some words that are associated with his or her creation: brother and sister, bunnies, and Grandma.**  


    fourth Musketeer said...

    My own experience is that you can never tell what will interest a reluctant reader. Despite the fact that I've read to him since he was born, since he was about 10 my 14 year old hardly ever picks up a book. He does listen to some audiobooks, but really doesn't like to read for pleasure. I'm a children's/YA book nut and have tried all kinds of things to try to interest him (there are a few he has liked such as Percy Jackson and The Ranger's Apprentice series). But imagine my astonishment when he picked up Super Freakonomics, a book my husband had checked out of the library, and read the whole thing through! And asked for the original Freakonomics book as well. I was baffled since he is never interested in things on the news about economics...I've decided I will have to try more non-fiction with him!

    max said...

    It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it, especially boys.

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - first in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series - is coming out in August. .

    Max Elliot Anderson
    PS. My first 7 books are going to be republished by Comfort Publishing later in 2010

    Kathleen said...

    These are great tips on coaxing the real reader in everyone out! I just did a post on who inspired my love of reading and big surprise (not), it was my mother. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day during the Armchair BEA interviews. Now I've discovered your blog too!

    Callista said...

    I'd love to read the book, I've read Avi before. And I now follow. This was my first time to your blog so I had to look at your previous literacy tips. How about on letting your child read whatever, even if it's a comic or car magazine. Reading is still reading!

    callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca

    Tif said...

    I would love to be entered in your giveaway and just followed!! I'm a new follower, so I'm hoping I'm not doubling up on some of these ideas . . . book titles for reluctant readers (or any young readers for that matter) OR your opinion on using graphic novels or comics as gateways to other books. How's that?!?

    I'm so glad I have discovered you through Armchair BEA!! I will be back!!

    tiftalksbooks at gmail dot com

    Christina said...

    Love your blog. What a novel idea! (sorry, I couldn't resist a silly pun.) I agree with your tips and might say that the very most important thing for reluctant readers is to find something they like.... anything.
    I'm your newest follower.

    Lu said...

    I am so bummed I missed this giveaway! I just checked this book out at our local library, and my husband is a 4th grade teacher, so our books get a lot of reading! I'm a follower now, so I won't miss out on any future giveaways! (Found you through 12 Crafts Til Christmas)

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