“Mom, I don’t have anything to read!”

“Mom, I don’t have anything to read!”

Sometimes when I hear those words, I can hand my child the perfect book to drown out the whine. Other times, its met with, “I don’t want to read anything I have!” and I have to just walk away.

Now besides trying to rack your own brain to find the perfect book for your child, there are many different avenues to help get your child out of a “I don’t have anything to read!” rut. They include taking them to the library to ask a librarian, the bookstore to ask an employee there for suggestions, or if school’s in session, having your child ask their teacher for some ideas. However, I recently found a solution that turned the responsibility completely to my daughter.

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This book, which I got from a Scholastic book order, has been a godsend for my daughter (and by default, for me). We love the way this book is organized and the suggested titles in the book. Here’s the Table of Contents and the Index in the back:

Things we love: the Table of Contents is organized by age. This makes it easy for my child to focus on certain titles now, as well as what kinds of books to look forward to as she gets older. In the back, the titles are organized by genre, so if she decides she wants to read a book about families, she can find titles there.

Additionally, when it comes to the individual titles, there’s more than just the title on the page, and here are some examples:

There’s a summary of the book (with no spoilers!), suggestions of what to read next, a rating scale to fill in, and a spot to write comments. I love this, because it will be a keepsake to look at many years from now. For example, for The Story of Ferdinand, my daughter wrote, “This book is going to be a movie in 2018 or 2017”. I think this will be great to read and remember in the future, even if we no longer have the actual Ferdinand book.

At any rate, as you can see from the pictures, my daughter has been using this book to decide what to read, and to keep track of books we’ve already read. She’s even taken it to the library a couple of times to help her check out books. So if in your #RaisingReaders quest you are tired of hearing, “I don’t have anything to read”, I would strongly recommend this book for your child (and your sanity).

One of the good things about a graphic novel…

One of the good things about a graphic novel…

A couple of weeks ago, we went to my daughter’s school to their Scholastic Spring Book Fair. Because of my own addiction to books, as well as my children’s odd understanding that money grows on trees, I had warned both of them ahead of time that they were to “pick out one book, and if I feel like I like you, you might get two”.  I tell them this because in my head if they select the one book that is $20 (which they are likely to do, because they don’t even look at the prices), then they won’t be getting another, but, if they decide on one of the 50 books that are only $2.99 (which they are least likely to do), then they can get another.

‘Cause I’m a sucker, they both ended up with two books (as did I, and even Dad got one!). One of the books that my daughter got was the second book in The Babysitters Club series, The Truth About Stacey.  It’s a great series, one that I also loved as a child, but now, the books are in graphic novel format, so they look completely different.

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The good thing about this is, as with most graphic novels, they are more visually appealing, but in this case, still telling the same classic stories. The bad thing about this is, there’s a lot less text, so she was done with the book by the time she woke up in the morning! Now, we already know I was concerned about them trying to deplete my bank account, so the fact that she was done with a chapter book within 24 hours of getting it had to have me on the verge of a heart attack, right?

Actually no. Here’s the thing, although my child finished the book rather quickly, I know that’s not the last time she’ll read it. She actually picked it up again the next day. And this is not the first time she’s done this, she rereads books all the time. Weird hunh?  I mean, although graphic novels didn’t exist when I was her age, when it comes to chapter books, I was in graduate school before I read a book a second time through, and it was only because the professor made me. Now once I did it, I absolutely found the value in it and promote it all the time…at work. There are SO many benefits of rereading, too many to share, many of them you can find here. But I can’t take the credit for it at home, or can I?

I mean, do you know how many times I’ve read The LoraxBringing the Rain to Kapati Plain, or whatever that book was about Dora becoming a princess? Maybe reading the same book repeatedly had some effect? Maybe. Sorta. Hopefully.

I think it is more likely due to the fact that in this case, a graphic novel is much like a picture book, so it doesn’t feel as labor intensive when she decides to pick it up again. Either way, my hope is that she still has that habit when she’s in her graduate program and her professor makes her do it.

I’m sure, just like I’ve read the same books OVER and OVER, you’ve done the same in your quest to raise children who enjoy books. So, next time you want to roll your eyes when they pull out that book for you to read for the 100th time, go ahead and roll them, but remember, it just may establish a good reading behavior, help them out AND stretch your dollar in the long run.