How To Raise A Reader: Tips For Getting Kids To Read

Tips For Getting Kids To Read

I love spreading the joy of reading, even more so when it's to children. It's a special feeling as an author when someone tells me they read one of my books to their kid and the kid asked to read it again... and again... and again.

Beginning a child's favourite author is one of the best feelings ever. You become part of their magically journey to becoming a future reader and book lover.

For today's post I wanted to share some ideas for how you can encourage a love of reading from a young age, and raise your own bibliophile. 

Read to them/together

Introducing kids to books at a young age is the first step. It's never too early to read to them. I started reading books to my kids when they were babies. It was soothing for them to hear my voice, and as they got older they knew that books meant quite time to snuggle with mummy. 

Just because they might be too young to read themselves doesn't mean they won't enjoy being read to. 

Rhyming books tend to go down particularly well with younger kids. Books by Julia Donaldson were (and still are) household favourites for us. I know The Gruffalo off by heart from having read it to them so many times. My kids do too.

Explore alternative ways of enjoying a story

Not got a lot of free time to sit and read to them? We all lead busy lives and finding the time, and energy, at the end of a busy day is not always easy. The good news is you can still build your child's love of reading by getting them some audio book versions. My kids loved (and still love it) when they have an audio CD to go with the book. These are great for the evening to get them to relax before bed. You tuck them in and let them fall asleep listening to the story. 

Encourage independent reading

They should also have the chance to "read" for themselves as they get older. There are a lot of cardboard, and plastic covered soft books available. These formats allow the child to explore the book by themselves without the risk of damaging it or hurting themselves (no paper cuts :)). Perfect for toddlers.

Make reading fun

Interactive books are great for younger kids too. There are lots of books out there that have different textures and materials on the pages, buttons to press, etc... Some even come with a built in puppet to make reading time extra fun. They all have in common the fact that they teach the child that reading and books are fun.

Go beyond the book

Another way to encourage a love of books in children is to create activities to go with the book they're reading. This is why I set up a board on Pinterest to go with my children's picture story book The Box (check out the board here). It's packed with ideas of crafts you can make with a simple cardboard box. 

I'm not the only one that thought to do this. 

Jennifer Miller (@jlmiller516 ) from  shared this will me:
"I make reading into an event with my three-year-old. When we read Blueberries for Sal for the first time we made blueberry muffins. "

I've also had reviews posted to the Amazon page of The Box that comment on this. Here's an example of one of the reviews:

"The Box took me right back to my childhood and my children's childhood. Now, I can read it to my grandchildren and tell them how I played with a box and how their Mom or Dad did. Jo Linsdell has written a fun book with illustrations that will touch your heart and take you back in time. It has just the right number of words and sentences to connect to your toddler's imagination and stay within their attentive span. When I get a new book for the grandchildren I often bring something to go with it like seeds and a shovel for a book about a garden. How neat is this. I will only need to find a discarded box! Imagination is a wonderful thing to promote. This really does deserve 5 stars."

Jennifer Miller (@jlmiller516 ) from  also had a suggestion for slightly older kids. 

I teach graphic memoir at a university. To get students engaged I have them create their own graphic memoirs. They love it and get a better sense of how to read a memoir when they write one.

Visit the library

Take your kids to your local library when you can. A lot of libraries offer group reading sessions and other activities. It also means you'll have a large supply of reading materials to discover. Our local library is specifically for children (you can take a behind the scenes tour here), but many libraries have a special children's area.

Let them pick their books

Whilst you can suggest books you think your child might enjoy reading, it's best to let them choose their own books.

My 10 year old loves reading the Scooby Doo mystery series, as does his 7 year old brother. In fact, they often read them together, and have read most of the series. Here's an example of one of the books. Whilst the eldest is at an age where he can read more grown up books (less pictures, more text), he still enjoys reading these. As long as he enjoys reading I don't care what type of book he chooses. He has plenty of time in the future to discover other books for the older age range.

Show YOUR love of reading

Kids learn by example. If they see you reading, and enjoying/talking about books, they will most likely want to read more themselves.

Books are a big part of my life and so my kids have grown up seeing me reading most days, and a house full of books. They ask about the books I'm reading, especially if it's one they have an interest in themselves e.g. The Percy Jackson series.

Whilst we don't go into details about the thrillers I read (I don't want to scare them), they will ask what the book is about and I'll give a very simplified version to them. They will then ask every so often if I've worked out who did it.

They get particularly excited when I manage to read a book in one sitting. To them this means I have some kind of super power, and usually leads to a discussion about the book, reading, and/or books in general.

How To Get Your Kid To Be A Reader

Got any tips of your own for turning kids into readers? Have you tried any of the above mentioned tips with your own kids?

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BYOBthon Update: A Recap of Week 3

BYOBthon Update: A Recap of Week 3

BYOBthon Update

WOW was that a busy week! Before I dive into updating you about my BYOBthon progress I wanted to let you know why I've not had much time to read this past week.

Those of you that know me at least a little probably already know that I have very sporty kids. Between Jiu Jitsu and swimming we're at training every day of the week now. 

Earlier this week my eldest got promoted at swimming and will now be competing for the Italian Swimming Federation (FIN). This is a dream come true for him and something he has been working hard to achieve. This also means that he will be competing in some big level competitions in November.

As if one super athlete son isn't enough, yesterday we were at Palatorrino in Rome for the Italian Jiu Jitsu Championships. My youngest did us proud yet again and added another gold medal to his fast growing collection. This little guy never ceases to amaze me. 

Italian Jiu Jitsu Championships October 2018

Needless to say, I'm one very proud mummy right now.

I'm also one very tired mummy right now ;)

You'll be happy to know I did manage to fit in some reading this week around all the excitement. 

Week 3 Progress

If you missed my previous updates for BYOBthon you can find them here: 

I decided to put Dark Rivers of the Heart by Dean Koontz on hold for a moment as I was struggling to get into it. I will be continuing to read it. I've just moved it down my priority list for BYOBthon.
The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

I finished this book! Which brings my total up to 3 books read so far for this readathon.

The Perfect Friend was quite a story! So many twists... and SOooooo many lies. I'm not sure how the author managed to keep track of everything when she was writing this, but the end result was great. No one is who they first seem to be in this book. 

Finishing this book means I get to add another head to my Hydra, but I just haven't had time to draw it yet. On my list for this week. 

What next?

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Now I have to decide what to read next. At the moment I'm leaning towards reading the 5th  (and final) book in the Percy Jackson series: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian.

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian is the fifth awesome adventure in Rick Riordan's top-ten bestselling series.Half Boy. Half God. ALL Hero.
Most people get presents on their sixteenth birthday. I get a prophecy that could save or destroy the world.
It happens when you're the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea.According to an ancient prophecy, I turn sixteen and the fate of the entire world is on me. But no pressure.
Now Kronos, Lord of the Titans, is beginning his attack on New York City. And the dreaded monster Typhon is also heading our way. So it's me and forty of my demi-god friends versus untold evil . . .
Rick Riordan has now sold an incredible 55 million copies of his books worldwide

I've loved every book in this series so far and can't wait to see how it ends... but also don't want it to end. The struggle is real people! 

I have a lot of books on my Net Galley TBR that I need to get round to too though so I'm just going to see what takes my fancy when I get a moment to get some reading done. 

What have you been reading this week? Are you doing BYOBthon?

On My Shelf: The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

On My Shelf

On My Shelf is a series to showcase some of the books that are sat on my shelves. Each Sunday I randomly pick a book from my shelves to show you. Some will be books that are on my TBR, others will be books I've read in the past but that deserve a little love.

This week's pick

This week I picked The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

David Ponder is back-and this time, the fate of mankind may be in his hands.
This is humanity's last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent mankind hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship-and that answer is only two words.
With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history's best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to solve the ominous challenge.
Readers first encountered David Ponder in the New York Times bestseller The Traveler's Gift. Now, in The Final Summit, Andrews combines a riveting narrative with astounding history in order to show us the one thing we must do when we don't know what to do.

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10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

10 Books You Need To Read

Today I'm joined by some of my fellow book bloggers to share some books they think you need to read. All these books have been rated highly by our team of bookish experts (AKA my book blogging buddies from the Twitterverse).

This selection has a bit of everything, and I've linked up each one to their review of it so you can find out more details about why it's a must read. You'll also find a clickable link to where you can purchase a copy (my Amazon affiliate link).

Ready to discover what books they recommend?

Here's their selection of must read books:

About the book:
10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

'At magic hour; when the sun has gone but the light has not, armies of flying foxes unhinge themselves from the Banyan trees in the old graveyard and drift across the city like smoke . . .'

So begins The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy's incredible follow-up to The God of Small Things. We meet Anjum, who used to be Aftab, who runs a guesthouse in an Old Delhi graveyard and gathers around her the lost, the broken and the cast out. We meet Tilo, an architect, who, although she is loved by three men, lives in a 'country of her own skin'. When Tilo claims an abandoned baby as her own, her destiny and that of Anjum become entangled as a tale that sweeps across the years and a teeming continent takes flight . . .

Check out the review at :

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers
About the book:

‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’

Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.
When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.
Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial—like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.
Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.
Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

When Peter Pan flies into the Darlings’ room one dusky evening, he convinces Wendy and her brothers to come with him to the magical world of Neverland, where children never grow old. It’s the beginning of an amazing adventure featuring a cast of classic characters, from the mischievous Lost Boys and jealous fairy Tinker Bell, to the villainous Captain Hook and his pirate band. But will the Darlings choose to stay in Neverland or return to London to grow up like normal children?

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.
The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.
Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.
Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past...
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
Celaena's epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena's story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

*A standalone romantic comedy with a lot of heart*Brooklyn Manning thought her life was perfect in every way until it crumbled down around her and turned into a dumpster fire. With her pride wounded and her tail tucked between her legs, she leaves New York and goes back to her tiny hometown of White Timber, Montana. No more twenty-four-hour taco trucks, no more shopping at the best designer stores within walking distance, no more giving taxi drivers the finger when they angrily honk at her. She didn’t think it could get any worse. But then Clint Hastings walked into the room and insulted her. Her arch nemesis from high school is no longer a nerdy computer whiz, masturbating to pictures in PC World magazine in his free time (allegedly). He’s grown up to be a hot-as-hell cowboy, and she has no other choice but to be a smart ass right back to him. After all, it’s what they do. It’s what they’ve always done, and twelve years apart hasn’t changed anything. Only this time, getting under each other’s skin is a hell of a lot more fun than it used to be.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick
A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.
Every woman has a secret life . . .
Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.
Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.
As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s "moral police." But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

Now a Top Five Amazon Bestseller.

"Dirty Headlines is a fantastic enemies-to-lovers office romance with a perfect, filthy as*hole hero that I wish I'd written myself." - Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author. 

From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new standalone, enemies-to-lovers romance.

CĂ©lian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.
Notorious playboy.
Heir to a media empire.
...And my new boss.

I could have impressed him, if not for last month's unforgettable one-night stand.
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory--namely, his wallet.
Now he's staring me down like I'm the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I'm supposed to take it.
But the thing about being Judith "Jude" Humphry is I have nothing to lose.
Brooklyn girl.
Infamously quirky.
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.
He knows it.
So do I. 
Every day in the newsroom is a battle.
Every night in his bed, war.
But it's my heart at stake, and I fear I'll be raising the white flag.

Check out the review at:

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

About the book:

From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.
Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.
For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.
When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…

Check out the review at:

Have you read any of these? Which ones do you want to add to your TBR list? Got a suggestion for another must read book not listed here? Leave a comment below.

10 Books You Need To Read: Selected by Book Bloggers

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