Since we’re always on the lookout for great new books to share with young readers, I thought that the new children’s book from enormously successful writer and Children’s Choice Author Of The Year award recipient, James Patterson would be a great place to start, so I hit up his website looking for information.
Indeed, the just released “Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life” by Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, looks like a promising, potentially funny book, especially since its main character, young Rafe Khatchadorian has made it a personal goal to break every rule the school has. Who wouldn’t want to read about a kid with goals like that, I wonder? As I was perusing (ok, fine, I’ll admit to drooling over a book for middle schoolers) the book cover, a reader review and some illustrations, I kept thinking that kids have so many fantastic options when it comes to reading that it’s hard to imagine them not wanting to crack open the latest kid’s book release.
But, if your kids are…well, in many ways, normal, that may in fact be the case.
With a little more surfing, I found a blog post [presumably] written by Patterson on his “Surefire Ways To Get Your Kids Reading“. The list includes great pro-reading ideas like modeling good reading behavior, getting leaders to advance the cause of literacy, and giving kids good choices. And, I wholeheartedly agree with those, but I’d add a few more suggestions to the list…getting books into the hands of kids is a top priority, of course.
But making reading fun, socially acceptable and enjoyable should also be priorities. Occasionally taking the mundane out of the required reading list for kids who struggle to maintain an interest in the first place, might be a place to start. Likewise, letting readers who lag behind delve into their own subjects of interest or reading books at or slightly below their reading level may just help renew interest for some of these kids. There’s something to be said for letting kids be who they are, and if who they are wants to read poems by Edgar Allen Poe in the fourth grade, well, they are reading, right?
Here’s to the great new Patterson book on the horizon and to getting kids–all kids–to read.