Monday, June 13, 2016

Rolled Eyes and Reluctant Readers (or How to Get your Kids to Read in the Summer)

This…the 142 post about books here at The Wright Place. Summer is here and we are reading. Some of us by choice and others by sheer force.

My children, particularly the misfits among us for whom reading is not their first "go to" summer activity are nearing the point already in early June of spraining their eye sockets with all of the eye rolling because of conversations like this…

"May I watch a show?"

"No, go read a book,"

"Can I play a game on my tablet?"

"No, go read a book."

"Can I clean my room instead?


"Yes, but then go read a book."

Then there's the end of the day query made by the parents:

"Have you read for 30 minutes today?"

Oh…the eye rolling…

You know what though, eye rolling doesn't hurt the one receiving it at all and so…we the parents will continue to insist and they the kids will continue to read… and, I am sure, to roll their eyes.

This week, the requirement as increased to 45 minutes and the eye rolling has increased accordingly. Not all of the kids need such requirement, but some do. Our hope, of course is that by the end of 45 minutes, they'll be good and carried away by the story they are reading that they'll just keep on going and get all of those good words and plots and characters and settings into their heads and hearts! It's a perfect plan, right?

We shall see…

Kate and Molly and I just finished our very first Roald Dahl book, The BFG in time for the movie of the same title.  We busted our still-during-the-school-year bedtimes reading late into more than a few nights to see what would happen to Sophie and The Big Friendly Giant. We thoroughly enjoyed the parts concerning the Queen of England. The book was delightful and I am more than a little nervous about the movie living up to it. We initially borrowed The BFG from the library but after finishing it, we loved it so dearly that we decided we needed our very own copy for our very own shelves.

We highly recommend this and feel that it simply MUST be read out loud.

We moved immediately into Matilda, also by Roald Dahl, upon completion of The BFG. Matilda has quite a different feel to it, but we are already charmed by her and disgusted by her parents…just, I think, as the author intended.

Molly has been into the series books lately and is particularly enjoying the Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski. Each book in the series tells the story of a known fairy tale but puts a major spin on the plot. Lots of fun and lots of books in the series.

And she is over-the-moon happy to curl up with her hero Jack Stalwart as she reads about him in the fourteen book series by Elizabeth Singer Hunt. Jack is a spy which rings all of Molly's requirements for a good read. She is nearing halfway in the series and is waiting not-so-patiently for her dad to click the buttons and make the next one appear ("In paperback please," she instructs, "I like to bend them.").

Megan read and enjoyed The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame. The Blue Castle is written for an older reader than the Anne books and both Meg and I loved this story. I read it last year in about a day and a half, and Meg read it between her school readings this year. (Bonus: its $0.99 on Kindle just now.) 

Meg's summer fiction has included the book Passenger, recommended in this post from Modern Mrs Darcy 

and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (read and adored years ago by yours truly) which both she and Cole are reading for a summer book club. 

Kate is reading Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Calonita… 

…and has read aloud the rest of our growing Roald Dahl collection to Molly (in the misery loves company category:-). 

Their read-alouds have included:

(which is tortoise spelled backwards!)

Cole (and Meg and my Man and I) is in the midst of the Visual Theology 2016 Reading Challenge. Highly inspired by challenges and goals, and seeing most of life as a competition of some sort or other, Cole is pursuing his summer reading like it's his JOB. He has posted his Summer 2016 book list and recommendations on his own blog. I'm a tiny bit proud of him it.

I hope your summer reading is full and fantastic. Here's to cold drinks, loads of sunshine, and abundant pages!

A book is a gift you can open again and again. 
~Garrison Keillor

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