Archive for February, 2012

Getting your struggling 8 year old reader to read for pleasure

February 28, 2012

How do you get your young struggling reader (aged 7-8) to read for pleasure? We know that the more children read for pleasure, the more quickly their reading skills will improve.

What we have found is that guiding children towards easier books that are not a struggle means they can devote all their time to just enjoying the story.These aren’t the reading scheme books, they’re just story books or factual books completely separate to the reading scheme.  Parents can really help with this, working on easier books with their children at home, so that they are not seen reading books that are too much easier than those their peers are reading, in order to preserve their self esteem. We are already seeing the benefits in one school where we are trying this. After just 3 weeks,these children are starting to enjoy books for pleasure.We asked one 8 year old on the programme “So, are you quite enjoying that book, then?” “No,” he said “I’m not quite enjoying it, I’m really enjoying it”.If we can engage all our readers with books for pleasure, we will be helping them enormously.

These books for 7-8 year old struggling readers   are published by Usborne and can be found by clicking on the link.


Have you seen these fabulous books for 8 year olds?

February 20, 2012

Whether you have an an 8 year old reader who reads a lot or one who is just starting to enjoy chapter books, the Geronimo Stilton books are a great choice. They’re very funny, include lots of colourful pictures and their special feature of the print in varying fonts and colours make them a unique offering.They are also very good for children who haven’t quite discovered a love of reading yet. Not too difficult to read (reading level – amethyst) we find they are often enjoyed by the more reluctant reader.

Lots of children  really love reading these books and wait keenly for the next in the series to be available.The most recent book The Amazing Voyage is available in currently avaialable in hardback, although paperback versions of other Geronimo Stilton books, such as A Fabumouse School Adventure are also available and well worth a look.

Is Enid Blyton as popular today as she’s always been?

February 10, 2012

In our family, Enid Blyton played a big role in encouraging our love of reading. My Mum would buy us books like the Faraway Tree and The Secret Seven and many a cosy afternoon would be spent by the fire reading these books.

However, the value of Enid Blyton’s books hasn’t always been recognised. At one time, libraries removed her works from the shelves, doubting their “literary value” and later this happened in some schools as well.Now, however, it seems that we have seen the error of our ways and these books which are so popular with the children have been duly returned to our school and libray shelves.

How could you argue with stories as magical as “The Faraway Tree”? If you don’t know what a Pop Cake is ….or a Toffee Shock, do buy these books for your children. I remember my four year old son begging for “just one more chapter please” as he travelled with the children in the story to the “Land of Do-As-You-Please” and the delicious ” Land of Treats”. We had a vote in a children’s book club I ran a few years ago, and the book that won Best Book of all time as voted by the 8 year olds  was Blyton’s “Wishing Chair” books, a series quite similar to the Faraway Tree stories.

Then, of course you have the school stories – The Naughtiest Girl in the School  (great books for8 year olds) Malory Towers (from 9 or 10 years old) etc and then not forgetting The Secret Seven, Famous Five and the less well known, but possibly even more brilliant books,  “The Sea of Adventure“, “The Island of Adventure” etc (for a slightly older reader than the Famous Five), probably age 10+.

Enid Blyton actually wrote in excess of 1500 books, so there are plenty to keep your children going. Many of her books can be found at Hummingbird Books so why not have a look and lead your child into the magical story world of an author who has been delighting children for generations….. and don’t forget to take a glass of homemade lemonade with you………

Holiday reading for children aged 9-11.

February 7, 2012

We’ll start with the avid readers who never seem to be able to find enough reading material. If you have 9, 10 or 11 year olds who like Greek Mythology and have read the Percy Jackson books, another series which is absolutely brilliant is  The Fire Thief Trilogy by Terry Deary.Both these series are at Amber reading level.

The Tom Gates books are still proving hugely successful with the more reluctant readers and with the next one in the series due out on the 1st March, they’ve just got time to read the first two in the series before it comes out.

Something probably more suited to the girls are the Molly Moon books. Plenty of reading for the keen reader, also at Amber reading level. If they prefer something a bit easier to read then the Clarice Bean books are hilarious and are at Sapphire reading level with quite a large font, which is perhaps more appealing if they’re not big readers.

You will find lots more suggestions on our website where, when you have made your selection, you can click on the Amazon button for further details, and to buy if you wish. We partner with Amazon, knowing that they offer excellent value for money on books and rarely charge any postage.*

* Unless buying from Amazon Marketplace

Just time to order some books for the half term holidays….

February 3, 2012

Hoping for just a little peace during half term? If you buy them some books from our great book selection, all of which are recommended by children, you might even have time for a quiet coffe and a natter with a friend while the children are off …and if it snows, what better way to warm up after an afternoon’s sledging than with a woolly jumper and a great book.

So here are a few of the highlights from our site. Remember, that when you buy from us you have the advantage that we make great recommendations and then you click through to Amazon for great prices.and rarely any postage.

For the little ones, a great new discovery for us is  “Lost and Found”. An enchanting story of the friendship between a penguin and a little boy. Just look at the reviews on Amazon for this book!

For 6-8 year olds who are fairly confident readers, but who like a book with lots of pictures, “Dinosaur Cove” is a great series.It is particularly good for readers who have only read factual books up until now. If you are now trying to get them to read a bit of fiction, these books are definitely the way to go.Great stories – with dinosaurs.The reading level of these books is Amethyst.For little girls who love fluffy kittens and playful pups you can’t beat Holly Webb’s delightful books. Also at  Amethyst reading level, these are the type of book that they just have to keep reading and reading to find out what happens at the end.

If your 6, 7 or 8 year old is only just starting out with reading alone, Ricky Ricotta is a great favourite. As well as a great story these books have “Flip-o-rama” pages to make a moving story and instructions for drawing Ricky and all his friends. These books are at Emerald reading level.

If you haven’t got into the Rainbow Magic stories yet, and you have a little girl, these stories are easy to read and just brilliant for girls.They are at Ruby reading level. All the Rainbow Magic books that we feature are the 3 books in one versions, but if you would prefer a thinner book with just one story in, click through to Amazon here.

In Monday’s blog we’ll be featuring some book suggestions for 9-11 year olds.