Andy Mulberry is a independent author who wrote a book (Skycastle, the Demon, and Me) that I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing. She agreed to be a participant in my Guest Posts, and I am delighted with the high quality content she delivered! Thank you, Andy, for participating!
HOW TO HOOK THE RELUCTANT READER
by Andy Mulberry
How to hook the reluctant reader? Well, if you have kids, chances are you’d like them to be avid readers. Because books are good; books make you smarter and brighter, which means better school grades! Right? You might have other reasons too, but unless one of the reasons is, ‘books are fun!’ then I regret to say your kid, your reader, probably won’t care.
If you have a reluctant reader at home who’s supremely unimpressed by books, it’s because he thinks books are not worth the effort, books are boring.
Convince your reluctant reader that reading is fun and the reluctance to pick up a book disappears. Groundbreaking, I know. Also, easier said than done.
Just like the best novels show and not tell a story, we should strive to show and not tell young readers that books are fun. How? Make books a part of your everyday life.
If your reluctant reader has questions about anything, go and find a book in the library that will answer his question. What I’m suggesting is, stop using the internet. Instead, look for answers in books—together with your reader.
No quick solutions—Raising readers is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Cause the best way to turn a reluctant reader into an eager one is to lead by example. If your reluctant reader sees you immersed in a book, he will eventually want to know why? Kids imitate the world around them. If they don’t see you read, guess what? Exactly.
Try those activities with your reluctant reader to immerse him into the reading experience:
- Read the first chapter of a new book together and then take a stab at guessing what might happen next. Let your reluctant reader read on independently to find out who guessed right.
- Judge a book by its cover—we all do it, it’s fun. Questions to ask: “Look at the cover, what do you think the story might be?” If you have a reluctant reader at home who loves to draw, well, let him draw a new cover.
- Read the book’s blurb together, ask what they like or dislike about it.
- An ‘evil trick’ worth trying… The forbidden book. “Oh, this book? Maybe you shouldn’t read that. It’s too scary/too gross/too naughty/too something.” Leave the book on the kitchen table and your reluctant reader will be sure to sneak a peek
- For those days you can’t make the trip to the library… If you own a Kindle or a similar device: It doesn’t matter if it’s a ‘real’ book or an ‘eBook’…libraries carry both, and checking out eBooks from Overdrive.com is easy and free.
So, what are the best kind of books for reluctant readers?
Well, I raised a boy, and more boys than girls tend to be reluctant readers, so the below two books are what I’d call ‘books for boys,’ but I dare say girls will enjoy them just as much. It’s no secret, boys like gross humor. They also like mysterious stories. And because we want to lead by example, there’s a reading suggestion for grown-ups too.
The Day My Butt Went Psycho by Andy Griffiths
A story that you and your butt will never forget! Join Zack on his epic journey across the Great Windy Desert and through the Brown Forest, to reclaim his runaway butt. Zack Freeman is ready to tell his story…the story of a brave young boy and his crazy runaway butt. The story of a crack butt-fighting unit called the B-team, a legendary Butt Hunter’s formidable daghter, and some of the ugliest and meanest butts ever to roam the face of the Earth. A story of endurance that takes Zack on an epic journey across the Great Windy Desert, through the Brown Forest, and over the Sea of Butts before descending into the heart of an explosive buttcano to confront the biggest, ugliest, and meanest butt of them all!
Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world’s most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 Clues hidden around the world will reveal the family’s secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what’s important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.
Are children reading enough? Not according to most parents and teachers, who know that reading aloud with children fosters a lifelong love of books, ensures better standardized test scores, promotes greater success in school, and helps instill the values we most want to pass on.
Hopefully you found a take-away worth trying with your reluctant reader! But what do I know? I’m not an educator. I’m a bookworm, a mom, a middle grade author, a herder of cats But I know that the perfect book for your reluctant reader is out there, the one that will instill a sense of wonder and joy in him, and you just have to help him find it!
Speaking of finding things, find me on Twitter, I like to chat!