The Role of Parents in Selecting Books for Kids
Guest Post by L.A. Miller
(Las Cruces, NM)—Parents know that knowledge is power, and reading is the key to this power. However, many parents struggle to find ways to make their kids be avid readers.
Children are more likely to read if parents let them decide what they read, however parents can give them directions and offer support, Scholastic suggests.
“… it’s your [the parents’] job—not the schools’—to find books to get your kids reading and to make sure they read them,” CNN suggests.
“Parents are powerful instruments when it comes to setting the tone for whether or not a child will be a reader, and certainly what their children read,” says L.A. Miller, the author of the new science-fiction and fantasy YA book series Quests of Shadowind, which includes “Sky Shifter,” “The Grounding Stone,” and “Veil.”
“Quests of Shadowind” is the story of a group of kids who are abducted to an alien world called Shadowind, which is inhabited by ghostly creatures, cyborg animals, and virtual humans—a land where anything is possible, including being downloaded into a cryptic, evil, role-playing game. In order to survive, the teens band together as they search for a way back home.
“Freedom of choice is key to getting them motivated and excited. Vampire sagas, comics, manga, books of sports statistics—terrific!—as long as kids are reading,” says James Patterson, a father and a “New York Times” best-selling author. “Should they read on e-tablets? Sure, why not? How about rereading a book? Definitely. And don’t tell them a book is too hard or too easy.”
Learning to read does not always come naturally. This is a skill that must be taught, and it takes some work. Parents should show their children that reading can be fun and help to incorporate reading as part of the everyday activities the whole family enjoys.
The National Education Association offers some tips for choosing books for children:
* For beginning readers, select books that match their skill level.
* Find colorful books.
* Pick books based on the child’s interests (hobbies, nature, science).
* Let the child make his or her own choices.
* Support every book choice.
* Ask librarians and teachers for book suggestions.
* Encourage your child to try different kinds of books.
“Reading is one of the most important skills that parents can help to develop in their children,” says Mr. Miller. “It’s a fundamental skill that will help children to be as academically successful as possible.”
L.A. Miller has been writing for more than forty years. His backgrounds in science fiction, astronomy, technology, and classic literature inform his work, which has included novels, short stories and music. He is the owner of Wood n Nails Music and lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his wife and two dogs. He is the author of the Quests of Shadowind series, which includes “Sky Shifter,” “The Grounding Stone,” and “Veil.”