Friday, August 05, 2016

A booklist for the reluctant reader

Last year, I wrote about how we enticed Evan to read by introducing him to audio books. He's still not as voracious as his sister who finished tome of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in a week with school, training and a full schedule. But he's come along very nicely and pleased us immensely when he bugged usto go to the library to borrow books for him. 

So I decided that it may not be a bad idea to record the list of books that he started off with in case there are other reluctant readers out there that need a bit of encouraging. 

Of course, his perennial favourites are the Harry Potter Series and science comics (but those don't count because those are in bad English!). He took it very seriously when we told him that he could read the Cursed Child's script till he finished Deathly Hallows. Two days later, he was done with Deathly Hallows, rearing to start on Cursed Child. 

The beginning of the Harry Potter mania
Jumping ahead and reading the Cursed Child on launch day. 
But Harry Potter worked for him because he had the audio books as initial scaffolding; to get used to the length and the language. 

The ones he picked up by himself were
1. The A- Z Mysteries by Ron Roy.
They are straightforward and simple mysteries. Each book has an alliterative title. The Absent Author, the Talking T-Rex. The titles were enough to draw him in.

I think he liked it because it followed a particular formula and the chapters were short and easy enough for him to get through. The characters in the book carried through into the next book so he felt he knew the characters quite well by the end of the 3 week library loan period. And the sense of achievement from being able to read 2 or 3 of these in a day was tremendous for him. There are Super Editions which he didn't enjoy as much even though he read them as well.

2. Encyclopedia Brown
Packrat introduced this series to the twins. He read it as a child and wanted to be a detective after that. Both twins lapped it up though Evan was more intent on trying to figure out how Encyclopedia managed to solve the mysteries instead of reading the explanation for it. But the fact that there was an explanation was pretty cool and both Packrat and I took part in trying to figure out the mysteries as well. 

Right now, he's back on Harry Potter. Well, after the 8th book, he won't have that anymore unless he re-reads them which is he likely to do too. As with his sister, there's a sense that he's feeling a bit lost as to what to read after he's done here. He wants to go back to the A-Z and Encyclopaedia Brown types but I'm hoping he's willing to push his boundaries a little bit more than that.

3. How to Train A Dragon Series by Cressida Cowell

Evan read some of these last year but listened to the entire audio book series. It was the first series of books he fell in love with. I could never get into them but both Packrat and he loved them and would talk about them at length. They aren't as tome-like as Potter but definitely more than the chapter books above. He keeps them all in a box by his bed and is territorial over them. Nothing can go in that box except for the Dragon books and now his Potter books. Potentially a set that we could get him to revisit now that he's older and has a longer reader span. 

I'm toying with Alex Rider and some of the Morpugo books but we'll see what bites we get.  

It's not a long list but it was a list that worked for him and it's a great improvement from last year. I don't expect him to be reading Arthur Conan Doyle anytime soon but I'm happy he's read more books this year than he has fingers and toes. 


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