Reluctant ReadersThis page isn't directly to do with spelling but anxious parents
often write to me about their child being a "reluctant reader".
By this they mean that he (it usually is a boy so I'll continue
to use "he") has mastered the mechanics of reading but
doesn't seem to derive any pleasure from it. If he does pick
up a book it only holds his interest for a short while.
Parents start to worry about this when the child reaches the
age 9 to 11 and they ask me if there's anything they can do
to encourage him to read for pleasure. I usually tell them of
my experiences with my own children and grandchildren.
My youngest son (he's forty now), up to the age of ten would
dip into what you might call reference books - the Guinness
Book of Records and the like but would rarely read for
more than a few minutes at a time. He was an avid viewer of
Western Films so I borrowed a copy of The Searchers from
the public library and from that day he never looked back.
He got hooked and read every Western that he could find,
then progressed to adventure books of various kinds.
Similarly, my 9 year old grandson became an enthusiastic
reader after we bought him a Horrid Henry story. He
quickly gobbled up every Horrid Henry from the library
and even spent his pocket money on those that they didn't
stock. Now he's into Horrible Histories and Simon Potter.
What I'm trying to say is that if you can find a book that
they enjoy, one that's within their reading capability, they
will seek others of the same genre or by the same author.
Here are some suggestions for parents: