About a month ago, we took a trip to our local Barnes & Noble, as I had a few books I had on my wishlist. Most of the time (if we have the money) I let the boys pick out an inexpensive book to take home. Drew was having trouble finding anything that was in the price range I had given him. This is the kid that has had MANY books purchased for him that he has never read past the first chapter. They were either a bit too challenging for him to read by himself, or the story just didn’t grip him enough to continue reading them.
So, as I typically do, I directed him to a specific area of the children’s section and began showing him books and reading the covers to him. Book after book, he responded with a hearty, “No, that doesn’t sound interesting,” or a “That book is too hard, “ reply. That’s when a book caught my eye. It was the first in the “Wimpy Kid” series by Jeff Kinney. I flipped through the pages, showing Drew how it was written like a diary and had lots of funny pictures on it’s pages. I managed to talk him into, so we purchased the book, along with a few others, and left to have dinner at a close by restaurant.
By the time we had been seated, both boys had their noses in their new books. Drew kept on giggling and rereading sections to us that amused him and showing us the pictures. By the time we got in the car to head back home, he had read over 30 pages!
The next day I woke up and came downstairs to find both boys on the couch, with the tv off, books in hand. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing that. By lunch time that day, Drew had finished the entire first book! I couldn’t believe it. Not only had we found a book he could and would read, but he devoured it. In less than 24 hours, he had torn through the entire 224 page chapter book.
He has since finished the first 3 books, each of them being read within a 24-48 hour period. This is the first time EVER he has stuck through a chapter book and read it entirely on his own. I will be purchasing the 4th book for him very soon. Then we have an entire month to wait for the 5th and newest book to be released.
I am really hopeful that reading this series will open up new worlds for him, and encourage him to read more books. I have been trying to find other books that are the same reading level that I think he might enjoy. SO far I have come up with the following:
- The Indian in the Cupboard series
- The Phantom Tollbooth
I am really struggling with adding anything else to this list. SO I am begging you, ask your 8-12 year old boys for suggestions. I want to keep him supplied with fresh reading material so that we can further develop this newfound love for reading.
If you have a young man who you just can’t get to read, you might wanna check out this series for them. It worked for us, and I am so thankful to Jeff Kinney for writing such an engaging, entertaining series for kids to read and enjoy.