When my daughter was born, there were a lot of things I wanted for her future. I had a list. At the top was the hope that she would grow up to be happy. A simple dream for my new baby and one that I’m sure all new parents share.
A close second was the hope that she would love to read.
Reading opens up so many doors. It gives individuals the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that are larger than their own mind. If you can read, you can step over a threshold into a world of fact and fantasy, learning about times gone by and pretending to understand crazy imaginary lands borne in the mind of an author.
From the moment she could hold a book, she would hold them in her chubby little hands (often upside down!) and babble to the pages. As she learned to recognise letters, she would point them out while I sat with her. Then finally all the gibberish on a page started to make sense to her amazing little mind.
She loves to read – TICK!
Having said that, there are certainly ebbs and flows with her love of books. I’ve bought her novels that I thought she would positively devour only to find the pages as crisp as the day they left the printing press. Fail.
This year, she seems to be in the groove of inhaling book after book again. I’m a bit concerned that we’ll run out of books to keep her entertained, but thankfully as she grows, her tastes change. Over time she has moved from the entire Babysitters Club series to Harry Potter and beyond. Well, except she keeps coming back to Harry Potter and re-reading them over and over.
Here are 11 books (and 30 pages) my tween has read this year:
- Paper Towns
- Harry Potter (all seven of them)
- 30 pages of Lord of the Rings (I don’t get that one and I quietly applauded the fact she stopped at 30)
- The Fault in Our Stars
The difference in watching her with a book like Paper Towns and one that she’s not interested in is amazing. She cannot get enough of Paper Towns. She’s highlighted sections that make her laugh and will power through it in no time at all. When I’ve given her books that didn’t really tickle her fancy (heartbreakingly Anne of Green Gables was one *sob*) it’s really obvious that she’d prefer to be tidying her
pig sty room rather than turning pages.
Here are my five tips for how to get your tween to read:
- Let them read whatever they want – if that’s a comic book or a magazine it doesn’t matter. If they’re reading they’re learning.
- Don’t underestimate the value of an old fashioned trip to the library. Our local one has an amazing lady working in the Young Adult section who recommends books for Miss11 she would never consider.
- Consider starting a book club. I know most tween boys would turn their noses up at that, but find a subject they’re interested in, give them a pizza night once a month to discuss whatever it is they have chosen to read and you may just change their mind.
- Mix it up a bot between books and an e-reader. Miss11 is like me and loves to flick the pages of a good book, but a change is as good as a holiday so download something if it gets them reading. Some screentime IS good.
- If there is a movie coming up they want to see, tell them they have to read the book first – watch them power through that bad boy!
Do you have any other tips you can share or books that your own tween has absolutely loved?