Thursday, July 20, 2017

Our Summer Of Reading - Books For The Reluctant Readers

My husband and I love to read. My kids were never readers and it literally broke my heart how much they thought of it as a chore. I prayed for the day I would see them reading just to read not because they had homework or mom was making them get that hour of reading in. It could have back fired but fortunately it didn't! This year they have read their little eyes out thanks to a plethora of perfect books for the reluctant reader.

What I Learned Up To This Point:

1. Don't give up. Yes, kids doing things they are being forced to do but if you give gentle nudges they will eventually become comfortable being in unplugged and learn to enjoy a good book.

2. Make sure you find books THEY like. Think about what their passions are and research until you find those books. My son really has a hard time understanding what he is really reading. He is a great reader and can read the newspaper since the age of 5 but don't ask him to explain what he reads. His disability means he is very literal so he finds it hard to dig in and really understand what a book or even a word may be about.

3. Read with them. The past three summers I found books that all three of us will like. We read it as a family, taking turns with paragraphs. It was one of my favorite time of the summer and we were really able to discuss the book in detail helping them understand, go over vocabulary, discuss personalities and outcomes and spend time together.

4. Provide an incentive. This year my kids started asking about spending money. They are 12 and 14 and wanted to be able to buy what they want by saving their own money. I don't believe in paying for chores because those are things you need to do in this house. Laundry, taking out the garbage, dusting, moping, putting away groceries and more are MUSTS. So I figured I would pay them to read. For every book over 100 pages they get $5.00, 200 pages they get $10.00 and 300 pages $25.00. They also need to write me at least 3 paragraphs about the book. It is a win/win. I get to see what they are reading, they get to practice their writing and they read without me saying, have you read today?

My son so far has made $75.00 since school ended the end of June. My daughter because she reads slower and harder books hasn't made anything but if she finishes this book she will get $25.00.

The Books They Love and 1 I Loved This Summer:

A BABYSITTER'S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING (Ad) by Joe Ballarini by far my absolute favorite.  READ THIS BOOK.

It’s not every day you learn that monsters are real…

In A BABYSITTER’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING (Katherine Tegen Books; on-sale June 20th, 2017; ages 8+), the first in a thrilling and hilarious new series by professional screenwriter Joe Ballarini, they are not only real, they are planning to populate the world with monsters from little kids’ nightmares. The Montecito Picture Company and Walden Films are producing the film adaptation, written by Ballarini and starring Keegan Michael Key.

When middle schooler Kelly Ferguson’s Halloween plans switch from party-going to babysitting, she thinks the scariest part of her night will be the death of her social life. She’s not babysitter material—doesn’t like little kids and thinks it’s a job for nerds—but she needs cash if she wants to go to summer camp; and she wants to go to summer camp, bad.  But when her first charge, four-year-old Baby Jacob, gets carried off by monsters—who really do live under his bed!—to the Grand Guignol (also known as the Boogeyman), she learns there’s a whole lot more to fear than temper-tantrums. Like chasing shadow monsters, drop-kicking Toadies, and mastering monster-fighting moves like the Naptime Headlock and Playground Punch.

Now, with the help of an ancient handbook and a secret society of butt-kicking babysitters, Kelly sets out to destroy the Boogeyman before he brings Jacob’s nightmares to life. But when the monsters’ trail leads to her school’s big Halloween bash, Kelly will have to prove she can save the world—without totally embarrassing herself in front of her friends. 

Packed with black-and-white illustrations and insider secrets from the world of monster hunting, A BABYSITTER’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING is full of tricks, treats, and terrifying twists!

Kelly gets sucked into a babysitting job for her mom's boss. She would much rather go to a party but when Jacob the 4 year old little boy in her care gets sucked under his bed by some smelly monsters, Luckily Jacob had mention to call his other babysitter who shows up and with a baby strapped to her. Kelly learns there is a whole lot she didn't know about babysitting and that their is a secret society of sitters who protect the world from these nasty underground Toadies and more. Monster's do exist but when a babysitter is on the job, their is nothing they won't do to get their kid back!

I love reading this out loud. It is so fun and my daughter and I took turns and did voices. It is a fun book with lots of humor. It is entertaining and fast paced. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the vamps. I felt like I was watching a movie as I read it so I am so happy to hear that this is going to be a movie one day.

To Purchase:

My son loves Football so I did some research and this reluctant reader sped his way through NFL Players Tiki and Ronde Barber's Books.

The football players crafted the perfect story for boys who love Football but not reading. The books are quick, entertaining, provide a good message and take the boys through middle school and into high school as football players on their schools team.  It is about perseverance, teamwork, never giving up and being the best person you can be. My son loves them and so far has read.

Red Zone 
My son's review: 
Tiki and Ronde and the team are ready for the playoffs. They have 3 or 4 games until they make the State Championship. The guys are nervous that chicken pox will affect the team as it has been going around the school. The twins end up contracting chicken pox which side lines Tiki for a game. Fortunately both brothers play the State Championship and if they win this will be their second win!

This book was great because the boys played proud and they never gave up.

Kids will love this book because Tiki and Ronde make reading interesting, fun, and entertaining. I have been reading this series nonstop. I love Football and as the twin's mom says, "Play proud and never give up".

Go Long

My son's review:
The boys enter their second year of Junior High ready for their second season playing for football team, Hidden Valley Eagles.

When their beloved coach needs to leave school the team is reluctant to accept the new coach, Sam Wheeler. Tiki, knowing Mr. Wheeler because he had him as a science teacher the prior year is ready to give him a chance. Coach Wheeler would do video sessions with the team which enabled them to see how other teams played which eventually helped them win and gain team acceptance.

I think kids would like this book because it teaches them that you can still win even if you have a few loses.


My son's review:
I loved this book.

Wild Card is about the Tiki and Ronde Barber having 5 games remaining in their second year of Junior High.

The team is having trouble after their kicker (Adam) ends up on probation for bad grades.

The Twins help Adam bring up his grades and get back on the team.

The book is great. I loved how the team showed determination to do great without their star kicker (Adam). This is their chance to make it to the playoffs and they will do whatever they can to prove they are the champions.

Wild Card will make you want to read the whole series.

He just handed me the reviews on  Jump Shot, Extra Innings, By My Brother's Side, Game Day and Goal Line but I am too lazy to retype right now. We have a ton more to order.

Who Am I? (Ad) by Steve Simpson

Nothing could be much worse than Theresa's childhood and the damage and pain it caused her. As a result Theresa is a strong, resilient and witty teenage girl. At this stage of her life she thinks the only thing she has to deal with now is graduating and her fun romance with her boyfriend Steve until today. Almost instantly her life is thrown into chaos. Not from problems within her home but from total strangers who out of nowhere are after her. Fortunately Theresa is the star of the track team because she immediately begins her run to save herself. Simultaneously, her boyfriend Steve, who had his own troubled childhood, begins to go through some amazing changes and acquires some fantastic abilities, which at first works to Theresas benefit with her new found enemies. But then Steves new talents literally signal a new set of enemies of his own who have their out of this world abilities and agenda. Soon both Theresa and Steve apparently are threats to two powerful and resourceful groups who want to eliminate them. Their relationship is put to the test as Who Am I? explodes into a nonstop action chase. Theresa and Steve must use all of their talents, abilities and wit in order to survive and stop the threat these two groups present to our world. Just like in the past with their family problems, their humor will help them cope with everything that is going on around them; and they will rely on their greatest strength, their love for each other to survive! Between the story of Who Am I? and The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook, the topics of domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism, suicide, self-esteem, bullying, and dealing with dysfunctional homes while coping with school are addressed; letting its readers know they are not the only ones with these problems, while giving them suggestions of how to get help and hope.

Runaway (Ad) by Steve Simpson

Runaway is an action drama. From beginning to end there is constant excitement with comedy and romance as the only breaks to the action. The drama portion of the story is so realistic that Runaway had been endorsed by the National Runaway Safeline in their school reading curriculum in schools throughout the country, which was unprecedented because it is a fiction action novel.

The story starts off with two runaways leaving their violent and broken homes, with plans to survive with a long lasting friendship in New York City. Unfortunately, for the characters it does not go as planned and one of those characters finds himself very alone. He is soon adopted by a local street army whose toughest and most interesting member is a young female. As their relationship develops and grows so does the male characters relationship with his newfound gang, giving him new talents and abilities. All of the main characters begin to work on their personal vendettas and tie up their own loose ends, which become the entire city's vendettas and business. 
Most readers will love Runaway because they will care about and relate to the characters that are all very real to how young adults are like today. Runaway keeps the adrenaline up with its innocent and witty humor and constant excitement. Super adventure, great drama, fresh young romance, a fantastic cant-put-down action story to keep you at the edge of your seat.
Just as the characters in Runaway live through and talk about their different abuses and problems The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook directly deals with many of the important issues young people have to face today such as suicide, being children of alcoholics, suicide, child abuse, running away, neglect, self-esteem and bullying. The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook lets its readers know they are not the only one with these problems, gives suggestions on how to cope and where to get help, and gives hope. 
The World Is Wrong (Ad) by Steve Simpson
Something is terribly wrong! Nothing is the way that its supposed to be. Nothing. Its not making sense. None of it. One plus one does not equal two. Things just shouldnt be happening the way they are. People are not who theyre supposed to be. Our lives were not meant to be this way. Its all wrong. THE WORLD IS WRONG! And someone did this. Its all intentional. Steve knows this, and now Marie knows too. Soon it will become realized that they know. They are no longer safe. Their friends are now in danger too. It really is going to be them against the world! Steve and Marie, along with their close friends, must battle different forces as they embark on a nonstop, action packed thrill ride as they try to literally change reality back to what it should be, while personally trying to deal with their seemingly impossible romance. The World is Wrong will keep you glued to the pages while it excites you, scares you and delivers a fantastic finale! While The World is Wrong deals with exciting alternative realities, The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook deals with the realities that many young people face today, such as alcoholism, child abuse, bullying, self-esteem, suicide and dealing with school and dysfunctional homes, giving the reader the knowledge that they are not alone with their problems, suggestions of how to get help and hope.
Child Island (Ad) by Steve Simpson 

Teenage runaways from all over of the country are recruited to make a fantastic voyage to an entire continent that the world has still yet to discover. A world run completely by teenagers! A world called Childs Island. Andy (who appears to be in his teens, although claims to be much older) recruits them and organizes a trip, promising if they go with him theyll never have to return home to their family problems and abuses. Each runaway has their own talents and abilities, including leadership as he puts one of the teenagers in charge making him Captain. He gains their trust by introducing them to the Kid Power, a super sophisticated boat that the teens easily figure out is way too technologically advanced to have been built here. The runaways embark on a journey that is not going to be anywhere as easy as Andy had promised. As super equipped as their ship is they will be open to attacks, temptations and loss. Once they reach Childs Island, the story only begins and so does the explosive action! Childs Island is having its own problems and the adolescent crew gets caught right up in it. Suddenly alone with no guidance they will battle conspiracies and have everything from sword fights to high tech battles, trying to protect themselves and engaging in a daring and impossible rescue mission. Even their world will be endangered by the events on Childs Island. Just like the characters in Childs Island that ran away from abusive and dysfunctional homes, there are many teenage and young adults that live with these problems today. The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook directly deals with child abuse, alcoholism, suicide, bullying, self-esteem, and coping with dysfunctional homes, while giving suggestions of how to get help and hope.
I thought the books were OK but more importantly my son loved them. I tried reading them out loud with my kids at first starting with Child's Island and probably never laughed so hard. The dialogue was dumbed down with nothing left to the reader. It was all written there so you didn't have to make any assumptions it is perfect for my literal kid and that is really all that matters. He is the one who is reading it. I want him to read and he is.  

My daughter LOVES a series of books called Warrior Cats.  She has read the first series and is onto the next.  She reads and talks to me about them. I have no interest but these are the first books she has loved on her own. 

Join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter’s Warriors series a #1 national bestseller—with new editions featuring a striking new look! Epic adventures. Fierce warrior cats. A thrilling fantasy world. It all begins here with Warriors #1: Into the Wild.

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their ancestors. But the warrior code is threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying—and some deaths are more mysterious than others.

In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty…who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

I love that she has found books she likes and they have really helped her. Since reading them, her reading score has skyrocketed.

SO, the moral of this story. Get books your kids NOT you like. They will read. It happened for me.

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