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I still love to read
February 14, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

February is I Love to Read Month, which promotes and celebrates reading.

However, there are children and adults who don’t enjoy reading, who can’t read very well, or just choose not to. We may call these types of readers, reluctant readers.

There are varied factors among reluctant readers as to why they choose not to read or don’t enjoy reading. The website, www.connectingya.com, tells us that for adolescent reluctant readers, books may be inadequate entertainment compared to other media sources, such as the Internet and television.

Some adolescents may not enjoy sitting long enough to read for a long period of time. There may be some students who just equate reading with schoolwork, and thus, are turned off by it.

Experts stress that it is important for children to read for enjoyment. We, as parents and adults, should encourage this.

There are many types of reading material, including nonfiction books and articles, magazines, directions to games and toys, and the newspaper. Find something that piques your child’s interest.

Some children, including adolescents may grow up in non-reading homes that don’t contain reading materials or reading role models. Reading may not be valued among family members.

It is important to be good role models for our children. We need to value reading if we want them to value reading.

Have a variety of reading materials in your home. Bring your children to the library regularly. Read to your children. When your children can read, take turns reading with them, using material that is not above their reading level so they can feel comfortable when reading. If material is too hard and they have to struggle, they will not enjoy it. We want to instill the love of reading.

It is extremely important that we read aloud to our children and make it a part of their daily lives, so they grow up being exposed to books, vocabulary, and the love of reading.

These are the books that National Education Foundation has listed as great reading for children and young people:

For preschoolers, “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats, “The Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise, “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister are popular picks.

These books were picked for children ages 7 to 8: “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg, “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Lorax,” and “Horton Hatches the Egg” by Dr. Seuss, “Strega Nona” by Tomie De Paola, “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman, and “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood.

Top picks for children ages 9 through 12 included, “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White, “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, “Maniac Magee” by Jerry Spinelli, “The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis, “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech, and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” by Richard Atwater.