We talked to Linda Goodman of Nicola’s Books on how to keep kids interested in reading and what some of her favorite reads are right now.
What are some ways to get kids to pick up books instead of electronics?
When you have a love for reading it can be difficult to understand that some people never pick up a book for the sheer pleasure of reading. Today, kids are offered so many other choices that sitting down with a book feels like punishment. I do feel there are ways to encourage reluctant readers. One is to take kids to a bookstore or library, and let them browse through the books themselves. Being able to pick up whatever title catches their attention, leaf through it and read a paragraph here or there is much more satisfying than browsing titles on the internet.
Of course parents should be aware of what their child is reading but as long as it’s appropriate for their age, let them choose what interests them If they want to read Erin Hunter’s Warrior series don’t make them choose Huckleberry Finn. As they get older, and if they have learned to love to read, they will choose it on their own one day. Try setting a small amount of time aside every day for reading, even if for only 20 minutes. If everyone, and that includes parents, turned off their devices and read, kids might find that books are pretty cool and read more. Children model their parents behavior- be a good example!
What are your favorite books right now for tweens?
The Keepers by Ted Sanders is a smartly written story filled with fantasy and magic. by David Fulk is a funny story of a quiet young boy who brings home an unusual shaped rock only to have it hatch and suddenly he has a baby T-Rex on his hands. Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald combines mystery with art and history when a young girl thinks she has discovered a priceless masterpiece under another painting. Dan Smith shows off another side of World War II in My Brother’s Secret. All are great novels for kids and they all feature strong and clever boys and girls.
At what age should parents start reading to their children?
I have parents who tell me they begin reading to their babies at birth. Not only is it a wonderful bonding experience for parent and child, young children can absorb so much from a book. One picture book can offer so much; animals, colors, objects and shapes. When I went to kindergarten many, many years ago that’s when I began to learn to read. Now children are already reading when they begin kindergarten and that makes for strong, confident kids.
Nicola’s Books, 2513 Jackson Ave.
734-662-0600 | www.nicolasbooks.com