Along came a reader
By Anne on October 5th, 2011
Author James Patterson recently pulled on our Scholastic heartstrings with his piece “How to get your kid to be a fanatic reader” on CNN.com. This quick read stresses how important it is for a child to fall in love with reading and for us as adults to lead as reading role models. We couldn’t agree more. In fact, here in the office we just can’t stop talking about either point.
Mr. Patterson gave an important reminder to parents and teachers that it doesn’t always matter what kids read, just that they are reading! Of course it needs to be age appropriate but when it comes to opening the door to books, there is no difference between say a graphic novel like “Bone” or a novel like “Harry Potter”. I liked reading about the different books that started Jack, Mr. Patterson’s son, on reading – “The Lightning Thief,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Al Capone Does My Shorts” and more. As noted in the article, boys are more likely to be reluctant readers and we should embrace books that appeal to them. It’s OK if that is a book on sports or world records. I remember “Nintendo Power” being a staple for boys while I was growing up and you know what? The boys I knew are readers to this day! Our 2010 Kids & Family Reading Report found that nine out of ten children say they are more likely to finish books they choose themselves. Maybe for the next rainy day we could all plan on bringing a kid to a library to pick out a book. A small action like that can mean the world to a student and it is where us adults – parents, educators, world leaders and celebrities included – can step in as reading role models.
At Scholastic, we are on the never-ending hunt to highlight current reading role models and inspire new ones. Mr. Patterson mentions that celebrities have the power to help but laments that they often don’t. In some cases, he is absolutely right but as fellow OOM-er Ivy posted this summer – we know some that do! On YouAreWhatYouRead.com there are movie and TV stars, singers, civic leaders, reporters, athletes, artists and authors – Mr. Patterson included, telling us their five most influential books. And just last week, Dallas Cowboys players Tashard Choice, Demarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and mascot Rowdy met up with Clifford at a Scholastic Read and Rise Book Fair. We hope they help to inspire more reading but more importantly, we echo the call of everyone remembering to be a reading role model and promoting reading to a student you know. My mom and older sister were both avid readers so I was lucky to have inspiration at home. They would both hand down books to me that they enjoyed.
Have you passed on a book to a child lately or encouraged reading in other ways? Tell us!
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