Last week, I recommended audiobooks and reading to and with your kids, as ways to engage them with reading. You can catch up here: Two Tips to Get Kids Reading This Summer.
I often have friends ask me for specific book recommendations for their children. The lists I give vary according to what I know and what they tell me about their kids’ interests, ages, and books they like already. Because I’m putting these recommendations out to everyone, I’m making them more general.
The bottom line: Find them books they CAN and WANT to read (or listen to).
Here are some high-interest suggestions to get kids reading independently and willingly:
- Comics and graphic novels:
- Graphic novels are stories told through a comic book format; usually all in color, and a single cohesive story about the characters. There have been a lot of popular books turned into graphic novels lately, like The Babysitters’ Club, for example, but many stand alone too.
- Comic collections combine lots of strips into a single book, but there are multiple short storylines instead of one single story. This is like Garfield, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, etc. Our family likes Mutts (see photo above) and Rose Is Rose for their age-appropriateness for elementary kids, too, in addition to those listed before.
- For more, read here: Let Them Read Comics! and Graphic Novels, Continued
- Series or books they already like, EVEN if they are re-reading them, and EVEN if they are “easy” for your child.
- I re-read books I love in my spare time, and so do many people. I also enjoy books that are technically “easy” for me. Let’s allow our kids these same privileges. Reading is reading.
- Series are awesome because, if kids are “into” them, they always know what their next book is going to be (and so do you!)! They’re perfect for getting kids into the Reading Cycle, which is exactly what we want!
- Nonfiction books:
- Try some squeamish, irresistible subjects like germs, insects, snakes, bodily functions, etc.
- Tap into what your child is already interested in: computers, space, animals, sports, whatever it is.
- Get a bunch from the library and see which ones they seem to like best; then get more that are similar in format and topic.
- Don’t worry if they don’t read in order or every part of the book! Nonfiction books are meant to be read as the reader chooses. Free them to do this.
- For more: Nonfiction Fun and Nonfiction Text World
Tip: See what you can get from your local library before buying, that way you can find out what the kids are really going to latch onto before you spend money on books. If you want to buy, check garage sales and used bookstores for old comic collections especially. Don’t forget about checking Little Free Libraries in your area too!
I plan to post again next week with a few specific new (and old) books we have been reading at our house, so stay tuned. Sign up for the emails if you enjoy having these ideas!
Read on, everyone!