Yesterday I read an article about kids starting to drop off reading around age 8 due to an increase in electronics use. It made me incredibly sad, in large part because my son recently turned 8 (or 2, depending on how you count those Leap Day birthdays ), and the world of reading has truly opened up to him in the past few months. Now, we’re pretty strict about electronics anyway. We only let him play on the iPad twenty minutes a day, and he has to earn it. Sometimes he can earn up to an extra ten minutes, but I digress.
My kids’ school currently is holding a read-a-thon, so both of my kids are reading like crazy, and I love it. (The school is using a program called Whooo’s Reading, which I highly recommend!) Anyway, a couple of months ago I started reading STORY THIEVES by James Riley aloud to both kids. We were probably six or seven chapters from the end when the read-a-thon started and paused reading aloud so they could focus on their own books. Over the weekend, my 8-year-old decided to finish it himself as part of the read-a-thon. As soon as he did, we had the following conversation:
8-year-old: Mom, I have to read the next book right away.
Me: Ok, I’ll see if the library has the e-book.
8-year-old: Yes, do it! I have to know what happens next!
Thankfully, the library had the book available. He started reading the next morning, and a couple of hours later this happened.
8-year-old: Mom, I have to tell you what’s happening in the book.
Me: But I haven’t read it yet!
8-year-old: But I need to, Mom!
Me: Fine. Go ahead.
So I let him spoil a little of the book for me, but honestly, I didn’t mind too much. I was thrilled that he was enjoying the book so much he had to talk about it. And obviously I started reading the book myself so that I can stay ahead of him and avoid any further spoilers. Now we are having daily conversations as we compare notes on where we are in the book. Perhaps when he finishes I’ll let him write the review–or we can write it together the way we’ve been reading together.
It’s a unique kind of joy to have a mini book club with my son. I look forward to sharing this same experience with my daughter in the future. (I’m back to reading STORY THIEVES to her so she can see how it ends as she’s still a couple of years away from reading it on her own.) My mom and I have been swapping books for years, so it’s sort of a family tradition.
I’m so glad I read middle grade and get to experience this with my kids. What about you? What books do you enjoy reading together?