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She’s Reading!

My daughter is sitting in a chair in the living room READING! Kate has always struggled with reading. Try as we have, we’ve never been able to overcome the fact that reading for Kate is hard. It’s not for lack of trying on her part, nor for opportunities offered on ours. She’s tried to like books the way we do, the way many of her friends do…it’s just never clicked. She loves stories; she loves to tell them, she loves to hear them but she gets no joy from trying to read them.

Her WASL scores came this week and she passed reading. Not only passed, but scored well above her school average, the district average and the state average. She worked hard on her reading and with lots of effort she can do it, but it’s the joy of reading that has escaped her. It’s work, it’s not fun.

Still, tonight she is reading. It’s homework. Her blessed teacher (the same wonderful teacher she had last year) has assigned all of her students 30 minutes of reading every night. Just being homework is not enough, though. She’s not in there watching the clock, putting in her time to be done with her work. She’s enjoying the book. I wouldn’t be surprised if she reads extra.

Last year she plowed her way through Eragon because that’s what her friends were reading. I was shocked. I was afraid for her. I was, I’m ashamed to admit, doubtful that she could do it. She did it. She is very fond of the book and loves that she shares the experience with her more bookwormish friends… but I don’t think that reading the book was actually fun for her. It’s something she did on guts and I admire her for doing it.

This year I gave her the first two Spiderwick Chronicles books at the start of school. Tonight I have Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black to thank. Kate is not only reading, she is reading for fun. She said to me tonight, “I got hooked into it!” and before tonight I was seriously afraid I would never hear those words from her. I know Tony from his glorious work on Planescape. Holly Black is one of us, from her days with d8 Magazine (which started up as my own foray into the gaming magazine market, Adventures Unlimited, was also coming to market). What they’ve done with Spiderwick they’ve done right! My daughter is sitting in the big comfy chair in the living room, reading.

60 comments to She’s Reading!

  • Great job, Kate!! As a children’s librarian, I’d reccommend the “Shadow Children” series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first book is “Among the Hidden”) for her to try. The chapters are short, the reading level is 4 – 6 grade, but the story is really, really interesting. It’s a series, but if you just read the first book, you get a whole story.

    I always love to hear stories about kids learning the joy of reading! :)

    • Thanks for the recommendation. She was very happy to let me know that her school library carries the Spiderwick books because she intends to read the rest of the series. I’ll keep Margaret Peterson Haddix in reserve for when she finishes those.

  • Great job, Kate!! As a children’s librarian, I’d reccommend the “Shadow Children” series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first book is “Among the Hidden”) for her to try. The chapters are short, the reading level is 4 – 6 grade, but the story is really, really interesting. It’s a series, but if you just read the first book, you get a whole story.

    I always love to hear stories about kids learning the joy of reading! :)

    • Thanks for the recommendation. She was very happy to let me know that her school library carries the Spiderwick books because she intends to read the rest of the series. I’ll keep Margaret Peterson Haddix in reserve for when she finishes those.

  • Great job, Kate!! As a children’s librarian, I’d reccommend the “Shadow Children” series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first book is “Among the Hidden”) for her to try. The chapters are short, the reading level is 4 – 6 grade, but the story is really, really interesting. It’s a series, but if you just read the first book, you get a whole story.

    I always love to hear stories about kids learning the joy of reading! :)

  • Thanks for the recommendation. She was very happy to let me know that her school library carries the Spiderwick books because she intends to read the rest of the series. I’ll keep Margaret Peterson Haddix in reserve for when she finishes those.