Patrons frequently ask me how they can hook their kids on books. This makes me thrilled, because if books are your crack then I want to be your dealer! (Drug metaphors work quite well in the literary world. Don’t ask.) Depending on the situation I usually recommend one or more of these resources to feed adults information about nifty books.
- For younger kids, try this booklist.
- The Unshelved Book Club gives you a capsule booktalk in their Sunday comic strip. They’re informative and usually humorous, and their in-house reviewers do a nice job of recommendations. The Sunday strips are a quick way to “sell” a book to a reluctant reader.
- Most folks didn’t realize that the Librarian of Congress got a little crazy & decided to name a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The first one was Jon Scieszka, and his Guys Read concept/website/anthology has inspired lots of people to connect young dudes with awesome books.
- Every young person should be taught by a person like Donalyn Miller. Her book and blog, The Book Whisperer, will point you in the right direction to create a reading culture in your school & home.
- James Patterson is an amazingly best-selling author. He also has a site devoted to helping you pick out great books to share with your shorty, called Read Kiddo Read.
- And last but certainly not least, ALA award winners are great resources for readers. Click here and then click on the radio button for Youth Media Awards.
Baby Read-Aloud Basics (Blakemore & Ramirez)
Between the Lions Book for Parents (Rath & Kennedy)
Every Child Ready to Read (Pesky Learning Center)
Great Books for Boys (Odean)
Great Books for Girls (Odean)
Growing a Reader from Birth (McGuinness)
How to Get Your Child to Love Reading (Codell)
Read All About It (Trelease)
The Read-Aloud Handbook (Trelease)
Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Children Will Change their Lives Forever (Fox)
Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years (Schiller)
These sites are great, but the most important advice for adults who want their kids to love reading is this: read for yourself, read often, and read in front of your children. Let them see your enjoyment in the printed word. Make time in the family schedule for stories and wordplay. Read aloud, read silently, listen to audiobooks, and reread books that really impress you. Do these things, and I guarantee you will eventually need to send your kids to Book Rehab. (Dr. Drew, if you’re reading this, CALL ME. I totally volunteer to help with the group therapy sessions.)