Bear has entered the age of reading chapter books all on his own—and the kind with literary flavor. Sorry, but I wouldn't count Geronimo Stilton last year, though I think that nerdy little mouse is good at getting kids to read. Anyway... Officially recorded here, his first solo literary adventure at age 7, the year 2011. It was an Amazon freebie I had put on my Kindle, but here's a picture of the children's classic by Ruth Stiles Gannett…
Bear told me there was a “really scary” part—so scary, he “didn't want to read anymore.” But the story was just so good, he had to finish it. He adds that it was “really funny.” I have not read the book myself, but I love it just because it was his first chapter book and because it was so riveting he had faced his fears just to get to the ending. Imagine that.
While he’s anxiously waiting for the sequels (Elmer and The Dragon and The Dragon's of Blueland) I have yet to score, he has also read and enjoyed, so far...
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo warns us about boys failing to thrive academically and socially in this age of video games and the Internet. Middle school teacher and author John Scieszka is on a mission, going on a "Guys with Books Tour" to make more boys read because not enough of them do.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Bear enjoys his Minecraft, LEGO Star Wars and Pocket God, but he can still get into books written in the 1940s. I’m hopeful literature will be a big part of his life.
I think it's all about giving boys the chance to read. Just the chance, no forcing or bribing or preaching. During No Electronics Time at home, one of the things our Resident Boy chooses to do is pick up a comic, magazine or book. Otherwise, boredom. There's stuff to read, might as well. Tapping into natural interests is another thing. So I chose Newbery winners, but I also clued in on his liking dragons and guns and insects. These are all very much boy things. And it worked. He got into it. The children’s canon of books is so big there's enough to excite every kid, boy or girl.
I have always thought books are like friends. You can't really choose which ones your kids will love. But we're the ones that give them the opportunity to meet them. That's a big deal. Books are some of the best friends we could ever have.