Connecting Kids with Books They’ll Love
Everyone is a different kind of reader. What kind of readers are you and your kids?
Some people read anything. If there are no books, magazines, newspapers, or phones in their vicinity, they’ll resort to the backs of cereal boxes or the junk mail left on the kitchen table. Other people know what they like and they know where to find it. And still others might have an inkling about what they like to read, but they have trouble finding books that fit that need.
And then there are those of us who have no idea what we like. Whether a child is a reluctant reader, an avid reader, or somewhere in between, there are steps you can take for connecting kids with books they’ll love.
In this age of Amazon, it might feel pretty easy to find book suggestions based on what you like to read. But Amazon uses algorithms that favor books that are already popular. If you poke around the Amazon site long enough, you’ll notice that you’re seeing the same books over and over.
There are other book recommendation sites that kids might find more useful, such as What Should I Read Next, which offers terrific insights into new books based on what you already like. Pragmatic Mom offers lists of books with titles such as “11 Middle Grade Books for Environmentally Conscious Kids” and “16 Far Out Space Books for Future Astronauts.” Brightly is another great site that offers tantalizing lists, such as “The Best Horse Books for kids Ages 8 to 12” and Star Wars Books for Every Kind of Kid.”
Another great way to get kids to read more is to set up a book review board in your classroom or library. Keep book review forms handy for kids to write down titles, characters, and a line or two about what they loved.
You can also start brain storming sessions with questions like, “If someone loves the movie The Secret Life of Pets, what books might they love?” These are great discussion starters that encourage kids to think about all the media they consume, including television shows, YouTube videos, and video games, and how these might connect.
There’s a popular saying that the kid who doesn’t like to read just hasn’t met the right book yet, and certainly there’s truth in this. The more we can introduce kids to an ever-wider array of styles, structures, voices, and topics, the more likely it is they’ll find the book that serves as a key to the ginormous world of reading.