Find Books that Appeal to Children's Unique Tastes
Every child's tastes are different. Too often adults, and even kids’ peers, try to push their own reading interests onto them. Sometimes I would get frustrated when I would see the classics pushed onto one of my sons because it was driving him to boredom and a dislike for reading. Ironically, I would often try to get that same son more interested in reading by finding adventure books and fantasy books for him to read. He liked them okay, but they weren’t his thing. That was puzzling to me since I loved those books and so did my older son. Ultimately, I discovered that he really enjoyed reading about sports. For awhile he read sports books, but now most of his reading is in the sports section of the newspaper or on web sites, and that’s great, because he’s reading.
All my children are readers, but they all have different tastes, which range from the classics to fantasy and adventure to contemporary thought provoking literature and to non-fiction or historical books. Many times children don’t consider themselves readers simply because the world’s supposed view of what reading is doesn’t mesh with their own. The other day my adult niece mentioned that she’s not a reader and that she’s read probably less than 5 books in her life. She listed the books, which were all fiction, but then went on say how she loves to read books that you can learn about things, such as rock climbing and similar things. She’s definitely a reader.
The key is to give children choices in their reading. Just because they don’t want to read the classics or the latest bestselling novel, doesn’t mean they’re not readers. It’s a mistake to force our own interests or likes on them. Instead, we need to help them discover the books or other reading material that will appeal to their unique tastes.
For more insights on the importance of finding books that target children’s specific interests, take a look at the following Librarian Booktalks:
- Getting Great Books in Children's Hands (Elizabeth Bird)
- Everything is Reading (Travis Jonker)
- How to Connect with Teen Readers and Non-Readers (Allison Tran)
- The Right Children's Book Might be a Graphic Novel (Eva Volin)
Also, take a look at these resources for book ideas for children.
- Children's Books 2012: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing (New York Public Library)
- ALA’s Reading List
- 70 Books to Get and Keep Boys Reading
- Guys Read
# 3 Way to Get Children to Read
# 4 Way to Get Children to Read
# 5 Way to Get Children to Read
Image courtesy of Photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net