From Reluctant Reader to Voracious Reader
Can the elimination of book store chain affect middle school literacy? Sadly, yes. The closing of Borders, according to a recent report by media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information will stunt the children's and young adult publishing market in the U.S.as the industry adjusts to a smaller book retailing footprint. This is because, "On a whole, the children's/YA market still depends on print books — and a complicated connection between the publisher and the increasingly hard-to-reach reader.
Adults buy the vast majority of juvenile books and give them to their children as gifts," Norris said. "Where it gets tricky is a lot of kids, particularly as they become teenagers, are more likely to read if they can choose the books themselves. Since a lot of children only spend a few minutes a week, on average, reading for leisure, parents need to sell them on the activity of reading without choosing a book that their child won't like. Anyone can make a child read, but getting a child to value reading is what's crucial for the future of this industry."
And that's actually what I found to be true for my daughter. Turning her from a reluctant to voracious reader did require me to lead the way, both in screening the books and in expeditions to bookstores to find books to read.
My oldest child is now starting 6th grade which is Middle School where I live. She's a voracious reader now but it wasn't always so. I guess there are many, many reasons why kids don't like to read and for her, it wasn't the decoding or sitting still; it was the act of performing. She hates any kind of attention. A root canal is preferable to her over performing and reading out loud was a performance to her.
Unfortunately when children are young, they have to read aloud in order for we, the parents, to see if they are reading with fluency, decoding words correctly, and comprehending what they are reading (as noted by strange pauses, skipped/added words or unfamiliar words). We're not mind readers after all!
There were other issues too. My daughter preferred books with a plot that were beyond her ability to decode. While many kids love the Bob books, she summarily rejected them so I had to find other phonics books that could hold her interest. This issue is very common her teacher assured me but it makes finding books that she could read confidently and enjoy challenging.
My daughter also found chapter books intimidating well into second grade. She preferred picture books so as her decoding skills improved, I needed to find advanced picture books. We found many great ones using the picture book section of Kathleen Odean's Great Books for Girls. In fact, I am now a believer that advanced picture books have much better content and vocabulary than many easy chapter book series. And some of these books below also take readers back in time or inside of someone's skin. Wonderful stuff!Continued on the next page