Friday, August 24, 2007

Raising One Out Of Four

Tuesday's Associated Press headline was this story about how one in four American adults did not read a single book last year.

My first thought was, we have to do something about that! But, where to start? The old saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. We have to work with the young dog, meaning children. How can we, as parents, as a society, as educators, interest our young people in reading? That is the question I hear every day. The kids today are into movies, computers, video games. How can we get them reading?

As a parent as well as a bookseller, I've found that getting kids excited about a series of books keeps them reading. Following the Harry Potter hype, this obviously works. The trick is finding the right series for each child. In my opinion, there are a lot more options for girls from Junie B. Jones all the way up to the Gossip Girls. Boys may take a little more imagination and research. The Magic Tree House series worked magic with my own son who thought reading was a chore. This series includes titles for every interest for boys or girls from the Arctic, to Tigers, the Vikings, or the Civil War. What series of books have helped you or your children become enthusiastic about reading?

Next post I will discuss my very strong opinions on what teachers may be doing to encourage or discourage students' reading habits.