First, I must begin this by saying, I let Neil and Seth read whatever they choose. My parents employed this method when I was young and I promised I would do the same for my children. But occasionally, we all hit points in our reading when we don’t know what to read next. Here is one way we’ve extended our reading experience when we’ve met a “roadblock” of some kind in our reading adventures.
When Seth was seven his choice of reading material changed. He was ready to move on to something more, we all felt that, but we really didn’t know what that was. I can’t remember how we stumbled on to our first series, I think it was by accident, but the first one we all read was Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Now, this series might not be for everyone. It is about three orphaned children who are stalked relentlessly (through 13 books!) by the villain trying to steal their inheritance. The first two books in the series are not very well written. But as the series progressed and as we got to know the characters better and better, all of us got hooked. As we alternate reading with the children, my husband would have to fill me in on what happened during his reading session and vice versa. Once, I even read ahead as I needed to know what happened but from then on tried to use restraint so I could discover the story with Seth.
After that experience, Seth then moved on to reading his own series. I have found that anything by Steve Cole has been successful. Seth started with Astrosaurs, moved on to The Slime Squad and Cows In Action. Occasionally Seth will return to these books still.
So, I suppose we then started looking at series for Neil. We had all read the Harry and the Dinosaurs books throughout our early reading years. Did you know Harry grew up? Yes, Ian Whybrow has written four chapter books about a more grown up Harry and the dinosaurs have grown with him.
Neil’s newest series Spy Pups by Andrew Cope was introduced to him by one of his school friends. I was delighted by this recommendation and we are currently checking them out of the library one after the other.
When Seth brought home Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, I was a bit worried. I thought they might be too old for him but I kept my promise to let him read what he chooses and we haven’t been disappointed. He has read the whole series, usually buying the next book as soon as it is released and rushes home to read through them. I have only read the first one, but I get regular updates from Seth as he is reading the others. We often have a good giggle over them.
At the beginning of his school year, Seth’s teacher introduced all the boys in the class to the world of Tin Tin. Of course, this wasn’t a foreign world to most of the boys, but Seth had never really gotten into these books. However, with the encouragement of his fellow classmates reading them along with him, the boys quickly started passing them around.
Incidentally, a chance coordination of events where Seth was reading a Tin Tin book followed by a graphic novel version of Romeo and Juliet by John McDonald provided the foray into the world of graphic novels. This has opened up a whole new genre for Seth to explore, but that will have to wait for another post…