Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Step Up Books Save A Want-to-be-Reader

The want-to-be-reader in my daughter disappeared, somewhere between simple short vowel words and complex sentences. Just like that, gone. In desperation (if you know us you know we love books) I went to the home library shelf. There before my eyes appeared, George Washington. The title invited me in- Meet George Washington.

I pulled the book off the shelf and thumbed through the pages. PERFECT! Large type. Pictures on every other page. All nestled in chapters between two hard covers. THIS book had the look and  feel of a book an "older" child would read. I beckoned my want-to-be-reader and proposed we sit together as I read. That is all she needed. A book that felt like a "real" book. Not just some story printed in a graded reader, but a real book. Motivation returned.

So often want-to-be-readers are lost when fluency and practice are needed to feed the reading process. Reading can be just plain hard for some. Lots of practice. Lots of encouragement. Lots of interesting "real books" needed to make it through that tough time when a young child is building vocabulary and fluency to become an proficient reader.

We started together. I read to her. The content was intriguing, interesting, something she wanted to know more about. I read the entire book. She listened. She wanted another. I had no idea where I had gotten the only one we owned. Where to look? The library? No, not there. Google saved the day. Within a short time, I was able to locate another, then another. I read a page. Then she read a page. Soon, she read a chapter, then I read a chapter. Dad was invited to read. Before long (maybe 2 months) she was reading, independently on her own with enthusiasm. The want-to-be-reader had been transformed to the I-gotta-read reader. Currently, she wants to read every book in the series. In fact, the now fluent reader won't move to another series until she reads them all (or at least the ones we can find). Step Up books are that interesting to her. Interest is the prime motivator. It's internal. It's powerful.

A map for reference while reading. Yes! Geography and Reading!

In the process of finding other books in the series, we have acquired "extras" of some of the titles (because we had to buy them in lots). If you have a want-to-be-reader who has gotten lost between simple words and complex sentences, perhaps these high interest books will motivate your child as they have ours. If so, let us know. We know how you can add them to your library.