My daughter used to like to read. Then she didn’t. The downward spiral began when she was in public school and had to start reading 20 minutes a day. She’s the kind of kid who rebels when you start telling her she has to do something. We used to fight tooth and nail when it came to 20 tiny minutes of reading.
It was a knife to my heart! Being an avid reader, it was hard to see my kiddo, who used to love to read, not want to read at all anymore. But… I was persistent and willing to buy books and books and books until we found something that captured her interest, and got her reading. (It was still a struggle, but a little less so). This is one of the main reasons we ultimately took her out of school and decided to homeschool. It broke my heart to see all the love of learning, and reading she had just slip away as the years went by.
But back to the books. 🙂
We ended up falling in love with these book series for girls. The great thing about book series? There’s always the next book in the series to read. AND… if she likes the first book in the series, chances are… she’s going to like them all. #bonus
When she was younger she enjoyed the Rainbow Magic series. She started it, got really into it, then became a little bored by it, and wouldn’t read any of the books. However, she came back to it. This was the cycle, over and over. Which I can totally understand… because that’s how I am too when I find an author or series I love. 🙂
The Rainbow Magic series also led into the Pet Fairies series and the Ocean Fairies series. (Which we actually bought for her cousin for Christmas and she snuck in and read them before we gifted them.)
She also fell in love with The Rescue Princess books. They are a little bit adventure, and saving animals in trouble. She really liked these! This is also an extensive series, so if you’re kiddo ends up liking them, there are plenty to read.
The Never Girls series were next to show up. She really enjoyed these books… but I think it might be because they are a little easier, and at the low end of the range she was meant to be reading. Which didn’t really bother me, as long as she was reading, she’s reading and that is what counts. This is also an extensive series, so there are plenty of books to read!
We got a little lost for a while, when these series became a little “young” for her, and she was transitioning into more middle grade books. She had a hard time finding something she enjoyed, and reading once again became a nightly battle.
That is, until we found Wendy Mass and the Willow Falls series. She found 11 Birthdays at the library one day, and quickly became engrossed in the book, reading in the car, in bed, on the couch. It was something I’d never seen from her before. One day, on the way, to school, she said to me, “This book changed my life… it made me like reading.” Talk about breaking open my heart. 🙂
Wendy Mass has written a few stand alone books too, including Pi in the Sky and The Candymakers. Hanna started Pi in the Sky (I thought she’d like it, since she’s all about the science!) but she did not end up finishing it. She has shown some interest in The Candymakers but it’s a huge book coming in at 480 pages, and I think she’s just a little intimidated by such a large book.
She’s since gotten 3 more of this series. She’s anxious to read them, but when she went to pick up more books from this series at the book store, she also found the Lost in Europe series. She started Lost in London and has been captivated by it.
There are nights when I check in on her before heading to bed, only to find her still up reading. (YAY!!! but hey, kid go to bed so you can get up in the morning!! 🙂 )
So there you have it, the books my “I hate to read” kiddo has fallen in love with.
I think the key to finding books that will ignite your kiddo’s love of reading is to keep sharing books, all different kinds of books. Talk to them about what they might like. When you find something they like, talk to them about what it is they liked about the book. I found Hanna really liked the “story” in 11 Birthdays, which helped me realize I’d been choosing books for her based on the things I like in books. (characters), which wasn’t what she liked. 🙂 That conversation has definitely helped us find more books that are to her liking.
Something else I have learned over the years, is to check in with my goals for her reading. My goal is for her to enjoy reading. If I keep this goal in the front of my mind, it helps me remember what’s important. That she’s reading, and smiling while she’s doing it. She’s enjoying herself. It helps me unclench my teeth when she picks out yet another Dork Diaries book to read. This is also what’s moved us to using more and more picture books in our homeschool. Once I let go of my preconceived notions of what she “should” be reading, I’ve found she, and we are reading a lot more. 🙂 And in the end… that’s what it’s really all about.
If your kiddo has found some books they absolutely love (even if they hate reading lol) I’d love to know what they are! Share them in the comments. I’m always on the hunt for more book ideas.