I've run across a few useful posts about encouraging young readers from around the universe of children's and young adult book bloggers (aka the Kidlitosphere), and thought that I would share them here.
The Book Chook suggests using scary books to engage kids in reading (for those kids looking for chills, of course). After some concrete suggestions, like the Goosebumps series, she concludes: "Don't despair if your child wants to be a beastly boy or ghastly girl. Go with the flow that goes bump in the night, and let them read scary stories. Once seduced by the thrill of books that put them inside a ghost house or monster's cave, it's not such a stre-e-etch to go further along the pathway to reading." [I'd suggest, for kids who have graduated from the Goosebumps books, but are still looking for horror, Killer Pizza, by Greg Taylor.]
At BookMuse, Robin Gibson shares some selections from the Gifted Reader's Bill of Rights (from Bertie Kingore, link goes to PDF). Robin's highlights are focused on making sure that kids are allowed to read books that challenge them. For example: "I have the right to read at a pace and level that matches my ability, no matter what grade I'm in." I think that these rights are great. But personally (as regular readers know), I'd also like to make sure that gifted readers have the right to read books that don't challenge them, but that they enjoy, at least some of the time. I think that Jennie Rothschild from Biblio File would agree. Jennie recently wrote: "Everyone should always be reading something below level, something above level, and something at level. This mixture is what lets us grow as readers."
Dawn Morris at Moms Inspire Learning has a follow-on to her recent YA Books and Bikes post (in which she made the analogy: "Would you let your children ride their bikes on major streets when they were 10 years old? Would you let your children read teen books when they were 10 years old?"). This time, she discusses the need for parents to keep an eye, even if a distant eye, on what their kids are reading, and offers suggestions for book lists and reviews (including my feature on series books for adventurous girls from here at Booklights).
Lori Calabrese shares tips for how to build your child's library on a budget, ranging from the obvious suggestion to use the library to creative ideas like holding book swaps asking relatives to give books as gifts. She concludes with this lovely quote: ""A home without books is like a room without windows ... A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life." ~Henry Ward Beecher." Lori also offers suggestions for helping your child while reading. She explains: "You can prepare your child to read by sharing your time, talking about the world around you, telling and reading stories and asking and answering questions", and offers concrete suggestions. I especially liked #10 "Talk about the stories. Ask and answer questions. Share ideas about the funniest and most interesting characters and events in the stories".
And last, but not least, I found a nice post by Lisa at 5 Minutes for Books about her first-hand experience reading aloud to her daughter from birth. She says: "And now, one year later, I look at my little angel. She is a toddler, busy walking, talking and exploring all the fun to be had in every nook and cranny of our home. The only time I can get her to sit still is when I pull out a book. ... I am glad I read to that little newborn, because somewhere along the way she learned to love books." But do read the whole thing -- it's a lovely endorsement of the benefits that stem from reading aloud.
For more links about children's literacy and reading, check out this week's Children's Literacy Round-Up, written by Terry Doherty and myself, at Jen Robinson's Book Page, and last week's round-up at The Reading Tub.