What Book Should I Choose?
Many people wonder about choosing books for children to read. There are so many books out there - how do you know which one is "right" for the child in your life?
The "right" book is, quite simply, the one a child is willing to read. However, that doesn't make your choice any easier, so let's dig a little deeper. Keep in mind, there are many ways to decide on the "right" book, and it's OK to give up on a book if it's not working for your child. You should never force a child to finish a book if they're not able or willing to read it. (I know, sometimes it's a school requirement, and I'll address that in a later post. For now, I'm focusing on books to be read for pleasure.)
The best way to choose a book is to involve the child in the process. What book do they want to read? When they feel like it's their choice, they're much more likely to be willing, and even excited, to read the book.
What if they don't know what they want to read? Try to find out what they're interested in. Do they like trains? Dogs? Pokémon? Roblox? Whatever they're into, there's a book about it! Choose a topic and go visit your local bookstore or library together. If you can't find something, ask the book seller or librarian for help - they love to make recommendations!
Next, think about what kind of book you're looking for. Some children do great with more traditional books while others respond well to graphic novels - what my generation used to call comic books. They've come a long way from those old Archie & Jughead stories! Still others do better with audio books, so they can listen to the story without needing to decode the words. All of these options count as reading, because they're using their brain to interpret the information that's coming in. Ideally, audio books will be combined with printed books, so they can receive dual input through both eyes and ears.
Sometimes, in the course of perusing the shelves, a child will choose a book that's above their current reading ability. Let them try it! Spend a few minutes looking at the pages together and have them attempt to read some of it. If it's too difficult, they'll quickly realize it on their own, but they might still want to take it home & read it. Unless you feel it's inappropriate for their maturity level, I see no problem with bringing that book home and adding it to the to-be-read pile. Maybe you'll end up reading it together and having some great discussions about the content! Maybe you'll return it unread on your next trip to the library. Either way, you've empowered a child to take ownership of their reading process.
Finding the "right" book can sometimes be a lengthy process, but once it happens, a whole world of reading opens up for a child, as they discover the wonders that can be found in books. Be a part of that process for the young readers in your life, and who knows - you might renew your own love of reading!
Have you recently found a book to love? Share the title in the comments so others can discover it, too!