Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Matching Books to Readers

I got an email from a former student's mom asking for some recommendations for books for her son. She told me what others had recommended, and that he hadn't really gotten "into" them.

I thought about the books -- they were current, popular, and well written -- so why didn't he just love them?

Because it wasn't his match.

Time and time again, I notice kids gravitating towards what "everyone else is reading" -- which isn't a bad thing in itself. Often, we tell kids that recommendations are one of the best ways to find out about books.

But here's what I have found to be true in my life, and if that is the case, I know it is true for kids too. EVERYONE, I mean everyone, who I know has read "The Kite Runner" -- except me. Believe me, I have picked up that book several times, and just can't get into it. I don't know why. It is a good book, well written, well loved. But just not a match for me.

Not that it won't be in the future, but not right now. So rather than forcing myself to read the whole thing just because everyone else is, I stop. I find something else.

That's what I recommend. Let trends help you, but don't be frustrated, and PLEASE tell your child not to be frustrated, if it is a book they don't absolutely devour like the rest of the class.

Matt's that way. He is a great reader, and could easily read all the Harry Potter, but he doesn't care for them. Fantasy isn't his boat. So he reads lots of other things.

Do I feel like he's missing out? No. He may actually read them some day as an adult, much like the rest of us did.

So keep searching for those matches, and don't be surprised if it is some obscure title most people have never heard of...those are hidden gems!

By the way, I enjoyed my interviews...just waiting to hear their decisions -- at any rate, I can't wait to get back into the classroom -- Oh, and so I don't forget, I think I am going to talk about kids abandoning books (not reading the whole thing) tomorrow. (I need to write things down these days -- my mind can't keep everything straight).


  1. Jewellyn, you hit the nail on the head here. I often find myself not getting into the latest book, movie, whatever crazes that other people just LOVE. Why would it be any different with kids?

    I came across a book for tween girls the other day called written by a ten year old author. What I love about this book is its ability to have a wide appeal. The themes are of fitting in and acceptance, it was written by a young one, the illustrations are beautiful. It seems to be less of a 'trend' book and has the air of a great kid's classic.

    Thanks again for the above info. I will definitely share it forward to those who can benefit.