There are kids who are not naturally drawn to reading. i may not understand that, but I know these kids, see in their faces that they are not enjoying being dragged around the library by their moms and having things that don’t interest them offered over and over.
hat to do? Interest them, of course! Find materials on their passions, be it sports, music, robots, whatever. That, and ask your librarian or bookseller about high interest titles. There are those books that no kid can resist – the ones with fascinating snippets of information are a great example.
A lot of kids who won’t be drawn into a story may be non-fiction readers – this is especially common in boys. There’s lots of good stuff out there, and just because it’s not a novel, doesn’t mean it’s not reading. I have a few good examples on my review shelf right now…
National Geographic Angry Birds
by Mel White
ISBN: 978 1 4262 0996 3
This little book is an interesting mashup of profiles of Angry Birds characters and real birds, comparing their personalities and traits. Organized according to the level of animosity in their behaviour – from “annoyed” to “furious” – each section introduces a character or two from the game, and then a host of birds whose own vicious temperaments or habits put them in the category of angry bird. It’s a great hook for the video game lover, and a look at animal behaviours from a totally different perspective, one that is rarely seen, but pretty amazing. Giving someone an angry birds-themed gift? This is perfect to tuck in with it. Chances are, you’ll be hearing a lot more about birds. You may even learn some new things yourself!
Learn All About Hockey Coloring and Activity Book
ISBN: 978 1 77049 436 7
Being a colouring and activity book, this title features far less text, but lots of little facts and vocab for our national game. It’s a great one for a kid who is not a strong reader yet – and generally, kids will read at a higher level about things they love, so that vocab should not be too much of a barrier. I like that Hockey Canada has done a good job in integrating teaching about the finer points of the game with simple colouring pages by creating a fictitious team and going through a whole game with them, from suiting up in proper equipment, to the calls that the refs make. Any sports addict could enjoy this little break from serious reading to pick up some new details and do a little colouring!
Not-For-Parents: Extreme Planet
by Michael Dubois and Katri Hilden
ISBN: 978 1 74321 424 4
The subtitle “Exploring The Most Extremem Stuff on Earth” says it all here. Double-page spreads look at the fastest windspeeds, biggest ocean creatures, most extreme desert environments, and all the highest, noisiest, fastest things on earth. It’s fascinating reading, much akin to the famous Guinness Book, and great for readers who prefer to browse than to read in a linear fashion. It’s exciting, interesting, and attention-grabbing, all hallmarks of the high-interest book. Even kids who are readers find these fun to look through, so if you’ve got a kid who loves trivia, this would work for them, too.