Choosing the right books is the key.

7 year old enjoying a book  We have been busy sending out books to the children who are taking part in our study “Encouraging 7 and 8 year olds to read for pleasure”. Although it seems early to comment on children’s reactions, we are already hearing from parents of reluctant readers who have received their books and whose children are really enjoying them.

We would put this down to two main factors  1) that the book the child is reading is easy enough for them to read on their own.This point was beautifully illustrated in an article by one of the key publishers of books for reluctant readers. Admittedly, the author is referring to slightly older children in his article, but it has become really clear to us in the last few years that if the text is not easy enough, a child of any age will not be tempted to read for pleasure. It cannot be a pleasure if it’s hard work!

2) Whether they are reading to you or you are reading to them, it has to be a good book.With so many new titles coming on to the market every year in the UK, it is vital to find the very best books that the children will enjoy the most, in order to kick start their love of reading. That is why our website only lists books that are recommended by children.

Books for your child to read to you

If you are following our six week reading study you will need to ask your child to read to you for 15 minutes every day. Make sure that the book is easy enough for them to read without difficulty (it should be easier than their school reading book and they should be stumbling over no more than one word or so on a page). To check which reading level to start your child on, ask them to read from the text in the following  sample books using the “Look Inside” facility in each book.Diamond Level is here.    Emerald Level is here.   Ruby Level is here.

When your child is reading to you, follow the words yourself, ensuring that they read correctly.

The books we are using at Diamond Level are The Magic Porridge Pot , Clever Rabbit and the Wolves , The Little Giraffe and The Chilly Little Penguin – all in Usborne’s First Reading Level 2. If these are too easy for your child, you could  try Usborne’s First Reading Level 3.
At Emerald Level we are using Puddle Lane (Stage 1) books. Written in the 1980’s these Ladybird Books have beautiful colour illustrations and delightful stories. You can still get copies on Amazon and Ebay, but they are not generally available elsewhere. These tend to appeal to girls more than boys, but some boys may enjoy them.For the boys we are using First Greek Myths by Saviour Pirotta – specifically Odysseus and the Wooden Horse and Theseus and the Man Eating Monster. Your child may need a little help with the Greek names, but these are brilliant stories with lovely colour illustrations.

At Ruby Level we are using the Magic Tree House series– with fun and exciting stories that are great fun to read.

Books to read to your child

Children on our study are also being read to by an adult for 15 minutes each day. This will help them to get really fired up about how exciting books can be, without having all the effort of having to read for themselves.

Ask your child to choose  from the following:

“The Hodgeheg” by Dick King Smith.

“The Secret Seven” by Enid Blyton.

“The Rescued Puppy” by Holly Webb.

” Street Child” by Berlie Doherty.

All these books come highly recommended by children of this age.

We’ll let you know shortly how the children are getting on. If you are joining us, we’d love to know how you’re getting on as well, either here or over @hummibooks on Twitter.

Picture Credit- John-Morgan at Flickr

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